The Guardian

  • Bournemouth v West Brom, Stoke v Everton and more – live!

    Third placed Shrewsbury have equalised at Scunthorpe through Jon Nolan. They could take advantage of neither of League One’s top two Blackburn nor Wigan playing today due to postponements and the FA Cup, respectively.

    A win today for West Brom would leave them just seven points adrift of safety, which is something to hold onto. They have only won once in their last 28 league games, so it would be a nice boost and would make the season slightly less embarrassing even when they almost certainly go down.

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  • England v Ireland: Six Nations – live!

    54 mins: Ireland could miss the bulk of Aki in midfield, as he goes off for treatment. Haskell tries to drive England on, but Ireland turn it over and Stockdale nearly breaks through again. Ireland look like they can snatch the ball, and take it in for a try, at any moment.

    53 mins: England changes - Marler and Cole on in the front row, Vunipola and Sinckler off.

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  • Trump lawyer calls for end to Russia investigation after McCabe firing
    • Attorney John Dowd responds to firing of Andrew McCabe
    • Ex-CIA chief Brennan calls Trump a ‘disgraced demagogue’

    Donald Trump’s personal lawyer said on Saturday he hoped the firing of the former FBI deputy director would prompt Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, to shut down the Russia investigation.

    John Dowd spoke after the Obama-era CIA director, John Brennan, castigated Trump as a “disgraced demagogue” headed for “the dustbin of history”, after the president gloated that the firing of Andrew McCabe marked a “great day for the hard working men and women of the FBI” and “a great day for democracy”.

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  • Wales v France: Six Nations – live!

    The Six Nations comes to a close in Cardiff, but the tournament’s final match may lack a true sense of occasion. That’s unusual for any game under the lights at the Principality Stadium, and any involving Wales and France, two nations with 20 grand slams and plenty of epic battles between them.

    Still, even if the real finale is being played out at Twickenham, there’s a decent consolation prize on offer. If England go on to lose, the winner here will finish runner-up. That’s something to cherish for either a Wales team in transition, or a France side who were on a historic losing run until they bashed their way past Italy.

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  • Can Spotify and Dropbox finally prove that tech is a sound investment?
    After a disappointing flotation for Snap, the music service and the data storage site have their doubters as they head to market

    The message to investors from Spotify last week had a familiar ring for any veteran of the tech gold rush: “The trend towards profitability is clear.”

    The music streaming service is hoping to banish the memory of a difficult year for technology flotations. Similar promises of digital alchemy – heavy cash investment transforming into an ever-burgeoning bottom line – followed the stock-market launch of Snap last year. So far, investors in the owner of Snapchat have been underwhelmed, but last week 35-year-old Daniel Ek, Spotify’s co-founder and chief executive, was adamant that his music streaming service would deliver the kind of returns that have proved elusive for tech upstarts since the blockbuster float of Facebook.

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  • Blizzard conditions expected to disrupt travel across UK

    Flights cancelled as Met Office says subzero temperatures, snow and high winds likely to disrupt road and rail journeys

    Blizzard conditions that could cause havoc on the roads have been forecast by the Met Office for Saturday night and Sunday morning.

    Yellow and amber ice and snow warnings are in effect for many parts of the UK as the “mini beast from the east” brings more snow showers and freezing temperatures.

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  • The Preston model – event review: ‘Cities are looking to us for hope’

    Senior economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty was joined by an expert panel and more than 400 Guardian supporters

    In 2002, Preston, Lancashire – a vibrant industrial town in the north of England – attained city status and struck out on its own, adopting a form of guerrilla localism. It keeps its money as close to home as possible so that, despite major spending cuts nationally, the amount spent locally has gone up. Where other authorities privatise, Preston grows its own businesses. It even creates worker-owned cooperatives.

    After a wealth of positive feedback in response to senior economics commentator Aditya Chakrabortty’s Alternatives series, looking at how we can make the economy work for everyone, and notably his piece on the Preston model, we decided to host a Guardian Live event in the city to meet some of the people making it happen.

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  • Man dies after being shot and stabbed in north London

    Murder investigation launched in Enfield after two men found seriously injured, one fatally

    A man in his 20s has died after being shot and stabbed in north London.

    The Metropolitan police were called at about 12.40am on Saturday to reports of shots fired in South Street, Enfield.

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  • Fulham give Championship rivals a lift after being pegged back by QPR

    Fulham’s efforts to step up their challenge for an automatic promotion place suffered a setback as they squandered a two-goal lead and drew 2-2 with Queens Park Rangers at Craven Cottage.

    Tom Cairney and Lucas Piazon had put Slavisa Jokanovic’s side in control but Massimo Luongo pulled one back for the visitors in first-half added-time and Pawel Wszolek completed the comeback in the 81st minute.

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  • China reappoints Xi Jinping as president with no term limit

    National People’s Congress also appoints Xi ally Wang Qishan to post of vice-president

    China’s legislature has unanimously approved the reappointment of Xi Jinping as president with no limit on the number of terms he can serve.

    The National People’s Congress also appointed close Xi ally Wang Qishan to the formerly ceremonial post of vice-president.

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  • Scotland snatch Six Nations victory over Italy with late Greig Laidlaw penalty

    • Italy 27-29 Scotland
    • Greig Laidlaw’s last-gasp penalty denies Italy an upset win

    We have seen it all before; a Scotland win over Italy at the death with the final kick going over as the clock ticked down. Four years ago, it was Duncan Weir with a drop goal, this time it was Greig Laidlaw with a penalty that broke Italian hearts and got his side a win they scarcely deserved.

    They did come good in the final quarter with Stuart Hogg scoring his 18th Test try to bring his side in range but it has still looked as though the former Scotland Under-20s fly-half Tomasso Allan had won the match for the home side with a late kick until Laidlaw trumped him. It papered over a mistake-ridden performance from Scotland, who kept putting themselves under pressure with the number of mistakes they made.

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  • Uefa shows bite to Besiktas but is a pussycat over Danny Welbeck dive | Daniel Taylor
    A feline invader merits a Uefa inquiry, while Danny Welbeck showcased with impunity the English talent for deception also displayed by Sterling, Vardy and of course Dele Alli

    Presumably, everyone is up to speed by now about the reassuring news from Uefa, permanently trying to find different ways of curing football’s ills, that it has launched disciplinary action against Besiktas because of the pitch invader that briefly interrupted the club’s Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.

    Even by Uefa’s standards, it’s a belter of a story given that it was actually a ginger cat who had wandered in off the streets to investigate what all these silly humans were up to. Unfortunately for Besiktas, nobody at Uefa appears to be aware that cats, as a general rule, do as they please, rather than what they are told. Nor is it particularly easy to understand what Besiktas should have done to avoid the charge of “insufficient organisation”. I mean, how does one organise the pussycat community of Istanbul these days? Should a saucer of milk and tin of Whiskas be kept by the dugout just in case? And, all silliness aside, could Uefa really not have taken the lead from Bayern – whose supporters voted the feline as their man of the match – rather than directing a moment of harmless fun towards its sanctions department. The case will be heard on 31 May and, knowing what we do about Uefa’s disciplinary tariff, don’t rule anything out – who could really be shocked if a stray kitty ends up costing Besiktas more in fines than a Nazi salute or racist chant would?

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  • Christian Eriksen fires Tottenham past Swansea and into FA Cup semi-finals

    On days like this there is no need for Tottenham Hotspur to worry about how they will cope without Harry Kane on the pitch. Christian Eriksen demonstrated why he is so much more than a member of the supporting cast as he scored another two splendid goals, taking his tally for the season to 11, to ease Spurs into the FA Cup semi-finals at the expense of a Swansea City side that never turned up.

    It was that sort of afternoon for Spurs, who were as comfortable as it gets as they strolled into the last four of the FA Cup for the second year in succession. Eriksen accepted the freedom of the Liberty Stadium given to him by Swansea to score his seventh and eighth goals against the Welsh club in 10 matches – you would have thought they would have learned their lesson by now – and Érik Lamela effortlessly stroked home Tottenham’s second.

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  • Fiona Phillips: I was paid far less on GMTV than Eamonn Holmes

    Phillips was ‘a relative pauper in relation to my on-screen king’ during nine-year partnership

    The former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips has revealed that she was paid considerably less than her co-host Eamonn Holmes.

    The pair formed one of Britain’s most memorable breakfast TV partnerships between 1996 and 2005, when Holmes departed for Sky News. Phillips continued for a further three years full-time on the ITV show’s sofa.

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  • 'My body was rapidly unravelling': living with motor neurone disease

    Helen Carmichael was diagnosed with MND last year but still had to maintain authority as a teacher

    I was sitting on the commode getting washed on Wednesday morning when I heard the news about the death of Stephen Hawking. Although, like him, I have an impressive case of motor neurone disease (MND) and can no longer walk nor talk, I never really felt we had the same illness: his long life, not to mention his genius and academic career, seemed to put him in a different category to me. It was still a shock, though, so maybe I had identified with him more closely than I thought.

    I was diagnosed with MND in May last year, 16 months after the fingers on my left hand started getting mysteriously stiff and a year from my first visit to the GP. This is entirely normal with MND, which is tricky to diagnose, but the months of inconclusive tests are horribly stressful. My body was rapidly unravelling, yet I still had to try to negotiate my life and maintain some semblance of authority as a secondary school classics teacher. To the anxious newcomer, MND presents an extremely unappetising vision of the future. Media coverage tends to be quite sensationalised, especially when dealing with people arguing for euthanasia. Journalists often focus voyeuristically on the horrors of the physical symptoms, which can make researching the illness quite a traumatic business.

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  • Doreen Lawrence: ‘Mental health is a big issue for young black men’

    The campaigner, 65, on being stubborn, shifting attitudes and memories of her son, Stephen

    My mum came to Britain from Jamaica when I was only two years old, as part of the Windrush emigration. Like a lot of people from the Caribbean she took that journey for a better life in the UK. I was about nine when I joined her here and then my younger brother followed me. It was difficult for us after that as those years of bonding were missing.

    Your early years shape the adult you become. My grandmother was a surrogate mother to me in Jamaica, and without her I wouldn’t be who I am today. That security blanket and love from her has helped me in my adult life.

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  • Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach
    Whistleblower describes how firm linked to former Trump adviser Steve Bannon compiled user data to target American voters

    How Cambridge Analytica’s algorithms turned ‘likes’ into a political tool

    The data analytics firm that worked with Donald Trump’s election team and the winning Brexit campaign harvested millions of Facebook profiles of US voters, in the tech giant’s biggest ever data breach, and used them to build a powerful software program to predict and influence choices at the ballot box.

    A whistleblower has revealed to the Observer how Cambridge Analytica – a company owned by the hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer, and headed at the time by Trump’s key adviser Steve Bannon – used personal information taken without authorisation in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters, in order to target them with personalised political advertisements.

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  • Sergei Skripal: Russia expels 23 UK diplomats as row deepens

    Moscow also shuts down all activities of British Council in retaliatory move after expulsion of Russian diplomats

    Moscow is to expel 23 UK diplomats and shut down the British Council in Russia amid increasing tensions over a nerve agent attack against a former double agent and his daughter on British soil.

    Related: Russian elite must reveal how they paid for UK property, say MPs

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  • The young gun protesters are inspiring, but we can't leave it to them

    There’s no reason our children should need to protest to essentially beg for safety. We’re the adults. Let’s do something

    The Week in Patriarchy is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of feminism and sexism. If you’re not already receiving it by email, make sure to subscribe.

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  • Flight of the Conchords review – business time again, with irresistible new songs
    Milton Keynes theatre
    Brett McKenzie and Jemaine Clement return with a magisterial performance

    “Some of you are probably thinking, ‘Gosh, they look a lot older,’” says Bret McKenzie, during one of Flight of the Conchords deliciously pregnant inter-song pauses. It is a remark met with a wall of knowing laughter: the screens either side of the stage succeed in underlining the star status of the duo, but also in highlighting the flecks of grey peppering their hair. Since they were last in the UK, the New Zealanders may indeed have become “dustier”, they may even have become rustier, but the pair are keen to reassure their Milton Keynes audience that they still know how to rock.

    his confidence isn’t misplaced. The Conchords have lost neither their beguiling, monotonous demeanour nor their ability to perform laugh-out-loud, foot-tapping bangers while simultaneously deconstructing them. How easy it would have been to perform nothing but the hits – yet more than half of the 15 songs they play are comparatively new.

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  • Why sexism is rife in Silicon Valley
    The tech industry doesn’t simply tolerate gender discrimination, it’s hardwired to marginalise women, says author Emily Chang

    Emily Chang is an American journalist and host of the US TV show Bloomberg Technology. Her new book, Brotopia, is an exposé of Silicon Valley’s macho culture.

    What is Brotopia?
    It’s this idea that Silicon Valley is a modern utopia where anyone can change the world or make their own rules, if they are a man. But if you are a woman it is incomparably harder. And that shows in the numbers. Women-led companies get just 2% of venture capital funding. That is egregious, especially in an industry that prides itself on being a meritocracy where anyone can succeed. We need people of all backgrounds to be making these products, because people everywhere are using them.

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  • 'There is no kosher meat': the Israelis full of zeal for going vegan

    Vegan food is, by most accounts, naturally kosher so is seen as a safe food choice for many Jews

    There’s a wildcard option that some Israeli Jews have started using when they can’t find a restaurant with a kosher certificate: vegan food.

    Fresh fruits, vegetables and grains are, by most accounts, naturally kosher and as the mixing of dairy and meat is forbidden in Judaism, a safe choice is to eat somewhere that avoids both.

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  • Man arrested after two women are shot dead in St Leonards

    The 35-year-old is being held on suspicion of murder after an incident at house in East Sussex

    Two women have been shot dead at a house in East Sussex, police have said.

    Two other women, including one who is pregnant, were led to safety by officers at the scene in St Leonards. Both were uninjured but were taken to hospital because of shock, Sussex police said.

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  • Man attacked with machete at bar in Manchester

    Police appeal for witnesses after man sustains life-changing injuries in assault at Barca Club

    A man has sustained life-changing injuries after a machete attack at a bar in Manchester.

    Police were called to reports of an assault at a bar on Catalan Square at about 10.10pm on Friday night, Greater Manchester police said.

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  • Gardens: the joy of daffodils

    Choose your daffodils carefully and enjoy colour for months

    The daffodil is such an optimistic flower. As it breaks through the late winter gloom, our thoughts turn to the warmer, longer days to come. No one knows more about them than Johnny Walkers, who has spent a lifetime championing this sunniest of bulbs.

    Related: Ready, get set, plant: a gardener’s year starts here

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  • Contagion! The viral hit that’ll have you reaching for the hand sanitiser

    In the biggest science experiment of its kind, the BBC show is both a cheery piece of Reithian edutainment and a grave portent of our impending doom

    “The next deadly outbreak could happen at any time,” rumbles the voiceover in Contagion! The BBC Four Pandemic (Thursday, 9pm, BBC Four), a show that calculates the speed at which the next killer virus will rampage across the globe. A new pandemic is, we are told, not a case of if but when. The UK government now has flu at the top of its risk register, above obesity, war and Jacob Rees-Mogg. In a world already brimming with misery and despair, Contagion! is clear that we’re all going to hell in a handcart. Such is its certainty, it might as well have called itself Face It, Chumps, We’re Screwed.

    Still, it seems a shame that BBC Four has passed up the opportunity to ramp up the terror levels in the manner of a 1970s public information film and show us ghoulish footage of figures in gas masks picking over piles of festering corpses. Or it could have followed in the footsteps of Steven Soderbergh’s disaster movie Contagion, in which, along with scenes of mass panic, we get to watch Gwyneth Paltrow’s patient zero get the top of her head sawn off in the name of science.

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  • Miami bridge collapse: engineer's answerphone message about crack not heard

    Police department says criminal charges were possible after inquiries into the accident that killed at least six are completed

    Homicide detectives opened an investigation on Friday into the collapse of a new footbridge that killed at least six people at Miami’s Florida International University (FIU), as questions began to swirl about the companies behind the structure’s controversial design and construction.

    Juan Perez, the director of Miami-Dade police department, said criminal charges were possible once exhaustive inquiries by his detectives and state and federal authorities were complete.

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  • Former Carillion finance directors expected to face investigation

    FRC understood to have agreed there are sufficient grounds for inquiry into conduct of Richard Adam and Zafar Khan

    The accounting watchdog is expected to announce an investigation into potential misconduct by two former finance directors at Carillion, the failed government contractor.

    The Financial Reporting Council’s conduct committee is understood to have agreed that there are sufficient grounds for a probe into the conduct of Richard Adam and Zafar Khan. An announcement is expected early next week. A spokesman for the FRC declined to comment.

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  • Black and White: how Dangerous kicked off Michael Jackson's race paradox

    As the King of Pop’s skin got lighter his music became more politicised, and 1991’s overlooked album encapsulated this radical moment in music

    For a figure as enigmatic as Michael Jackson, one of the more fascinating paradoxes about his career is this: as he became whiter, he became blacker. Or to put it another way: as his skin became whiter, his work became blacker.

    To elaborate, we must rewind to a crucial turning point: the early 1990s. In hindsight, it represents the best of times and the worst of times for the artist. In November 1991, Jackson released the first single from his Dangerous album: Black or White, a bright, catchy pop-rock-rap fusion that soared to No 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and remained at the top of the charts for six weeks. It was his most successful solo single since Beat It.

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  • Howard Jacobson on Manchester: ‘I lack its passion for football and Noel Gallagher’

    The author celebrates the mirth and raucousness of the city that shaped him, and explains why he feels like a fraud when he calls himself Mancunian

    To say I come from Manchester is shorthand. Who has the patience to listen to me tell how I was born in a nursing home in Prestbury, lived my first years in Salford, the next few in a half Yiddish-speaking shtetl called Hightown, then moved to Prestwich, a suburb famous for its psychiatric hospital? It was, and remains, easier just to say Manchester.

    But I feel a bit of a fraud calling myself a Mancunian. I don’t have the Mancunian’s passion for football. Or acid house. Or Noel Gallagher. Or going out in a short-sleeved shirt in the dead of winter. I have retained the flat vowels – making missiles of words such as “bus” and “basket” – but wish I hadn’t. I talk proudly of Manchester’s shrewd, stoic sarcasm as though I share it, while in fact I spent my first 15 years shrinking from its abrasiveness. Though that, too, is part of the fiction – the writer hankering for the alien robustness of streets that frighten him. The truth is I no longer know what the truth is. Invent your past often enough, and it becomes invention the minute you put it down on paper, and you are doomed to live in that invented past for ever.

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  • At least six dead after suspected people-smuggling boat sinks off Greek coast

    Search and rescue operation under way in eastern Aegean to locate survivors of vessel carrying estimated 21 people

    The bodies of six people have been recovered from the sea off a Greek island in the eastern Aegean after the sinking of a suspected people-smuggling boat, Greece’s coastguard said.

    A large search and rescue operation was under way to locate about a dozen more people believed missing.

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  • Scientists on brink of overcoming livestock diseases through gene editing

    Breeders will soon be able to produce animals that are immune to disease, says UK’s top animal scientist

    Farming is poised for a gene editing revolution that could overcome some of the world’s most serious livestock diseases, the UK’s top animal scientist has said.

    Prof Eleanor Riley, director of the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, said new techniques will soon allow breeders to genetically engineer disease resilience and, in some cases, immunity into pedigree animals, saving farmers millions of pounds a year.

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  • The secret to… not having an affair

    If temptation comes your way, make the most of it by behaving as if you’re having an affair – but with your partner

    Temptation can happen at any time but you’re much more likely to succumb if there are wobbles in your relationship. Familiarity can get a bit too comfortable, or a new baby, bereavement, job worries or significant birthday can add a dash of cold reality and leave some people susceptible to the idea of an exciting fling.

    Take the long-term view and consider the worst possible outcome if you have an affair. End of marriage, devastated children, financial insecurity, house move – none of it good. Don’t imagine for a moment that you’ll get away with being unfaithful. Guilt, stupidity or good old-fashioned gossip will get you in the end.

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  • What to see this week in the UK

    From The Square to Brighton Rock, here’s our pick of the best films, concerts, exhibitions, theatre and dance over the next seven days

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  • 'I felt I was being punished for pushing back': pregnancy and #MeToo

    Pregnant women are still being patronised, blamed for our bodies’ failings, and made to feel guilty about our choices

    I spent one third of 2015 – about 120 days – on bed rest. I moved only to visit a hospital or doctor’s office, where I was scrutinised and presented with a list of concrete and potential deficiencies. There was certainly something wrong with my cervix, likely something wrong with my hormone levels, probably something wrong with my placenta, and possibly something wrong with my baby’s heart. Every time I was examined – which was constantly – a new potential problem surfaced. Having already lost two pregnancies, I was overcome by the looming possibility of catastrophe. I refused to prepare for anything more than a week in advance, as if hope were interchangeable with hubris and therefore deserving of punishment.

    Throughout the pregnancy, I was grimly enthusiastic about suggestions, tests, and treatments – convinced that the more I endured, the more likely I would be to bring a baby home. I injected progesterone; sustained weekly ultrasounds; underwent a special MRI scan. I attended my appointments with the obstetrician, the maternal-foetal-medicine specialist and the foetal cardiologist. Most of all, I tried not to move. I believed that stillness might give me the best chance of giving birth to a healthy infant. Also, a sense of self-preservation urged me: if I were the most careful patient, then I would not have to blame myself were a tragedy to occur. Lying flat at home, I was in a dull, perpetual panic.

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  • The 20 photographs of the week

    From arctic surfing to a special election in the US, protests against gun violence to the shooting of a popular politician in Rio, Russian fashion to the diplomatic row caused by the Skripal incident; we take a look at the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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  • Streaming is easy but I don't want idiots listening to my favourite albums

    I know I’m an old man screaming about how scary the future is but technology is ruining music

    I used to love the Wu-Tang Clan. They took my school by storm, by which I mean the three kids in my year who listened to hip-hop. I skipped lectures to go and buy their second album, Forever, and then rushed home to listen to it. It was a glorious hour or so before I realised the album was crap. I listened, willing it to be better than it was, much like I did when I first watched The Phantom Menace, which is dreadful apart from the Darth Maul lightsaber scene, which is possibly the greatest ever “good action scene in an awful movie”, probably contested only by Samuel L Jackson’s death in Deep Blue Sea.

    If the way that last sentence jumped around without really focusing on any one point annoyed you, then welcome to my issues with the way that streaming sites such as Netflix, Tidal and Apple Music have affected the way that I consume hip-hop, and music in general. Everyone seems so excited by the fact that music is more accessible, people can find new artists more easily and it’s cheaper, without focusing on the potential negatives, not least of which is that idiots can more easily listen to your favourite music.

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  • The three crises of liberal democracy | Ganesh Sitaraman

    We now swim in dangerous waters, and we can no longer take the persistence of liberal democracy for granted

    Over the past few years, I have frequently been reminded of David Foster Wallace’s commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005. Wallace began with the story of two fish swimming together, when an older fish swims by and says “Morning boys, how’s the water?” After the old fish swims away, one says to the other, “What the hell is water?”

    Related: The People vs Democracy review – blood, soil and Trump as strongman-lite

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  • The crisis in modern masculinity

    Luridly retro ideas of what it means to be a man have caused a dangerous rush of testosterone around the world – from Modi’s Hindu supremacism to Trump’s nuclear brinkmanship

    On the evening of 30 January 1948, five months after the independence and partition of India, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was walking to a prayer meeting at his temporary home in New Delhi when he was shot three times, at point-blank range. He collapsed and died instantly. His assassin, originally feared to be Muslim, turned out to be Nathuram Godse, a Hindu Brahmin from western India. Godse, who made no attempt to escape, said in court that he felt compelled to kill Gandhi since the leader with his womanly politics was emasculating the Hindu nation – in particular, with his generosity to Muslims. Godse is a hero today in an India utterly transformed by Hindu chauvinists – an India in which Mein Kampf is a bestseller, a political movement inspired by European fascists dominates politics and culture, and Narendra Modi, a Hindu supremacist accused of mass murder, is prime minister. For all his talk of Hindu genius, Godse flagrantly plagiarised the fictions of European ethnic-racial chauvinists and imperialists. For the first years of his life he was raised as a girl, with a nose ring, and later tried to gain a hard-edged masculine identity through Hindu supremacism. Yet for many struggling young Indians today Godse represents, along with Adolf Hitler, a triumphantly realised individual and national manhood.

    The moral prestige of Gandhi’s murderer is only one sign among many of what seems to be a global crisis of masculinity. Luridly retro ideas of what it means to be a strong man have gone mainstream even in so-called advanced nations. In January Jordan B Peterson, a Canadian self-help writer who laments that “the west has lost faith in masculinity” and denounces the “murderous equity doctrine” espoused by women, was hailed in the New York Times as “the most influential public intellectual in the western world right now”.

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  • Irvine Welsh: ‘When you get older, it’s harder to be a bastard’

    The author talks about his obsessive-compulsive thing, which Trainspotting character he most resembles, and losing his temper

    Irvine Welsh is doing just fine for money. He knows he never has to work another day in his life, but he can’t stop himself. “I don’t like it when people say I’ve got an addictive personality,” he says. “It’s people who never take drugs who say that. But I have an obsessive-compulsive thing going on.” Writing is an itch he’s got to scratch – particularly when it comes to Trainspotting.

    The author is about to release Dead Men’s Trousers, the fifth novel in his Trainspotting series. Welsh says it will be the final instalment (though by the end of the afternoon he’s not quite so sure). Trainspotting, published in 1993, is a violent black comedy about working-class heroin addicts in Edinburgh. In a Waterstones poll of 25,000 people, it was voted the 10th greatest book of the 20th century. It has sold more than 1m copies in the UK alone and is said to be the most shoplifted novel in British publishing history. The film of the book had even more impact: in 2012, it topped a poll of the best British films of the past 60 years.

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  • Secret Teacher: I was undermined for a decade. Now I can call it bullying

    My inspirational headteacher soon became intimidating. It ripped my life apart – but I know I’m not the only teacher who has suffered

    I stared at the screen, feeling physically sick, as I read the long list of signs of bullying on a teaching union website. Excessive fear, loss of self worth, a reluctance to go to school, physical ill health including weight loss, disrupted sleep, headaches, depression, panic attacks. Suddenly it all made sense. The realisation left me reeling.

    Related: Secret Teacher: the focus on exams is failing GCSE students

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  • Russian police put the squeeze on election observers before vote

    Beyond the lacklustre battle for votes, there is a fiercer one over the electoral monitors

    Days before Russia’s presidential elections, police are trying to seize documents that give activist observers access to polling stations and a leading elections watchdog has unexpectedly seen its office lease revoked.

    “You shouldn’t hold this event here or you’ll have trouble,” Roman Udot, a representative for the independent Golos Association elections watchdog, said his landlord was told by police before they ripping up the contract.

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  • ‘I live frugally so I can spend £3,000 a year on yoga’
    Freelance journalist and yogi Dearbhla Gavin on the sacrifices she has to make to pursue her hobby seriously

    I’ve been a journalist since I was 16, and two years ago I gave up a staff job on an Irish newspaper to freelance for BBC radio with a view to moving into TV.

    My take-home pay averages £2,000 a month, out of which £700 goes on rent for a three-bedroom flatshare and £90 towards utility bills. Train fares to work make one of the biggest dents in my purse at £33 a week and I spend £20 a month on a pay-as-you-go mobile phone.

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  • Sleep apnoea: surge in number of children admitted to hospital

    Growing number of young people in UK with disorder may be linked to rising obesity levels

    The number of admissions to hospital of children and teenagers with sleep apnoea has risen sharply over the past four years, with experts suggesting childhood obesity is to blame.

    Data from NHS Digital, the national information and technology partner to the health and social care system, shows that admissions with a primary diagnosis of sleep apnoea, a serious disorder that occurs when breathing is interrupted at night, reached a peak of 7,557 in 2016-17, up from 5,675 in 2012-13.

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  • Mortgages are now the most affordable since the mid-1990s, says Halifax
    Research shows just 29% of UK homeowners’ disposable income is being eaten up by home loan payments

    The proportion of homeowners’ income being swallowed up by mortgage payments is now one of the smallest since the mid-1990s, according to the Halifax. It said typical mortgage payments accounted for less than a third (29%) of homeowners’ disposable income in the last three months of 2017 – down from almost half (47%) during the same period in 2007. This figure is also “comfortably below” the long-term average of 35% for the period between 1983 and 2017.

    This is a boost for those who have a mortgage and those preparing to take their first step on the property ladder

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  • Artists in battle over modern artwork pension fund

    The Artist Pension Trust, which holds one of the biggest collections of contemporary art in the world, is facing a legal bust-up

    A unique initiative, designed to provide artists with a “pension”, is at the centre of a row after it emerged that some members have signed up to a group legal action in a bid to extricate themselves from the scheme.

    Guardian Money understands several British artists are seeking the return of artworks they signed over to the scheme, whose website states it has around 2,000 participants worldwide, including Turner prize winners Jeremy Deller, Douglas Gordon and Richard Wright, and other well-known UK names such as Bob and Roberta Smith and David Shrigley. It’s the latest in a line of controversies to hit the Artist Pension Trust (APT) which, as the name suggests, was set up to provide artists – many of whom struggle to make a living, let alone plan for retirement – with some financial security in their old age.

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  • Ilford M&S to help build pop-up hostel for local rough sleepers

    Marks & Spencer shop had been criticised for using high-pitched alarm to drive homeless away

    A Marks & Spencer store that was criticised for driving homeless people away with a high-pitched alarm has helped to launch a new initiative to tackle rough sleeping.

    Last July the Guardian revealed that the Ilford, Essex, branch of M&S was using an alarm at intervals throughout the night to deter a group of people who had been regularly bedding down behind the store.

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  • Oh Jonny boy: mid-20th century Ireland in glorious technicolour

    To mark St Patrick’s Day, the Photographers’ Gallery in London is releasing newly restored pictures of rural Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s by a pioneer of British and Irish postcard art, John Hinde

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  • Trapped in the Sunken Place: how Get Out’s purgatory engulfed pop culture

    A year after Jordan Peele’s horror, its key scene has come to signify a sinister state of being for the likes of Kanye West, Stacey Dash and OJ Simpson

    In February 2016, Daniel Kaluuya arrived on set at a large suburban home in Fairhope, Baldwin County, Alabama. In many ways it seemed like any other morning during the three-week, low-budget feature shoot. However, the movie’s director, Jordan Peele, seemed to believe the footage they would shoot that day might take on a greater resonance.

    “Yo, this is iconic,” the actor remembers Peele saying to him. Kaluuya wasn’t sure if his director was simply trying to amp him up; nevertheless, he took his place opposite the Oscar-nominated actor Catherine Keener and focused. “It felt intense,” he later recalled to Variety. “It was just that five-page scene that day.”

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  • Even today, after a century of feminism, we can’t fully be ourselves | Elena Ferrante

    Everything has been codified in terms of male needs – even our underwear, sexual practices, maternity

    On principle, I refuse to speak badly of another woman, even if she has offended me intolerably. It’s a position that I feel obliged to take precisely because I’m well aware of the situation of women: it’s mine, I observe it in others, and I know that there is no woman who does not make an enormous, exasperating effort to get to the end of the day. Poor or affluent, ignorant or educated, beautiful or ugly, famous or unknown, married or single, working or unemployed, with children or without, rebellious or obedient, we are all deeply marked by a way of being in the world that, even when we claim it as ours, is poisoned at the root by millennia of male domination.

    Women live amid permanent contradictions and unsustainable labours. Everything, really everything, has been codified in terms of male needs – even our underwear, sexual practices, maternity. We have to be women according to roles and modalities that make men happy, but we also have to confront men, compete in public places, making them more and better than they are, and being careful not to offend them.

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