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The Guardian

Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Trade war fears grow as US and China clash – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as Mike Pence and Xi Jinping spar over trade policy again

Boom! Shares in Renault are sliding following a report that auto magnate Carlos Ghosn faces arrest in Japan.

According to the Asahi newspaper, Ghosn is being probed by prosecutors for allegedly violating Japan’s financial instruments and exchange act.

Shares in UK builders are dropping this morning, following a report that house prices have fallen 1.7% this month.

Online estate agent Rightmove reported that the average house price fell by £5,000 in November, with wealthy parts of the South East suffering the biggest reversal.

“Higher-end, former hotspot towns are now among the biggest annual fallers with Rickmansworth (-7.1%), Esher (-6.4%) and Gerrards Cross (-6.0%) now cold spots following price rises of nearly 40% over the seven preceding years.”

Related: UK house prices fall by £5,000 on average, with south sliding fastest

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:37 am

Boris Johnson's unused water cannon sold for scrap at £300,000 loss

London mayor Sadiq Khan fails to find a buyer of crowd-control vehicles after lengthy search

Three unusable water cannon bought by Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London have been sold for scrap, at a net loss of more than £300,000.

Johnson bought the crowd-control vehicles from the German police in 2014, in anticipation of social unrest, without checking whether they could be used on London’s streets. In one of his most humiliating episodes as mayor the then home secretary Theresa May banned them from use anywhere in England and Wales. It left the capital’s taxpayers with three expensive white elephants.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:15 am

London Waterloo commuters told not to travel due to engineering delays

South Western Railway blames overrunning works for train cancellations between Surbiton and Waterloo station

Passengers on some of the busiest rail routes in England have been warned not to travel because of overrunning engineering works.

No South Western Railway (SWR) trains were operating on Monday morning between Surbiton and London Waterloo – the UK’s busiest railway station.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:06 am

Hunt in Iran to appeal for release of Zaghari-Ratcliffe

Foreign secretary calls on Tehran to stop using Iranian-British dual nationals for diplomatic leverage

Jeremy Hunt is visiting Iran on Monday, where he will make a personal appeal for the immediate release of the Iranian-British dual-national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe on humanitarian grounds.

The foreign secretary will also call on Iran to stop using Zaghari-Ratcliffe and other dual nationals as tools of diplomatic leverage.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:01 am

From Fellini to Ferrante: the cinematic vision of My Brilliant Friend

The television adaptation Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend is a reminder of Italy’s strong tradition in the coming-of-age genre, from Life Is Beautiful to Cinema Paradiso

The first episode of My Brilliant Friend is likely to cause both great excitement and deep anxiety. Excitement because Ferrante is a writer with an almost evangelical following. Her quartet of “Neapolitan novels” have sold close to a million copies in the UK, and 1.8m in Italy. When readers finish one book, they tend to devour all four, mesmerised by the taut depiction of a poor suburb and its characters over the course of many decades. But that invented world of a few families living cheek-by-jowl in postwar Italy is both exotically foreign and yet - with its universal themes of poverty, violence, alliances and aspiration – astonishingly familiar. The anxiety arises because the adaptation might erase not only how we’ve imagined the characters, but also their world.

Elisabetta Salvini, a feminist historian at the University of Parma, says that Ferrante “knows how to use perfectly the history of our country, weaving it into the depth and complexity of her characters.” For Adalgisa Giorgio, herself Neapolitan and a senior lecturer in Italian studies at the University of Bath, the friendship depicted in the books “is full of conflict and confrontation, but it’s the basis of their resistance to a world which tries to erase them.”

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:00 am

I run a feminist group, but today I am celebrating International Men’s Day | Carys Afoko

We rarely tell positive stories about men and it’s time we stopped being part of a culture that vilifies them

Today is International Men’s Day – and I’m celebrating it for the first time. I have to admit I’ve taken myself by surprise on this one. If you’d told me I would be doing this a year ago I would have laughed in your face. Or assumed “celebrate” was code for “take the piss out of some arrogant dudes on Twitter”. Because feminists don’t celebrate International Men’s Day, right?

What’s changed since 2017 is that I quit my job to run a feminist startup. In other words, I took a huge professional risk and a big pay cut. Then, in April, my personal life began to implode. Work was going well, but that was the only thing that was. I started reading about Brexit and Donald Trump for light relief. I was a strong, confident woman who couldn’t admit she needed help. Asking friends and family for support felt needy. So I pretended everything was fine and most people assumed it was.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:00 am

Blood: has Channel 5 made its first piece of prestige TV?

Airing every night this week, Sophie Petzal’s pitch black family saga continues the channel’s evolution away from the gaudy and glib

Channel 5 is attempting a rebrand. With Big Brother finally out to pasture, in recent months there have been a string of solid history documentaries covering everything from Egyptians to the Kennedy family, while Michael Palin’s two-part film about North Korea was genuinely unmissable TV.

Now comes the next part of the evolution: a dark, addictive and unmissable crime drama. Blood is written by Sophie Petzal, who has worked on everything from Netflix’s Anglo-Saxon epic The Last Kingdom to Sky’s Riviera, and is part of a new wave of British and Irish writers who have broken through in 2018.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:00 am

The brilliant Saints just turned the Eagles' Super Bowl hangover into a coma

Philadelphia suffered the worst ever loss by a defending champion on Sunday. The team that beat them could end up taking their crown in February

It was the worst loss ever by a defending Super Bowl champion. The New Orleans Saints demolished the Philadelphia Eagles 48-7 on Sunday. The Eagles fell to 4-6, good for thirdplace in the NFC East, with their playoff hopes fading fast. Meanwhile, with the statement victory over the reigning champions, the Saints made a strong case that they should be the favorites to win it all this season.

It was ugly for Philadelphia football history too, as it was the most lopsided Eagles loss since a 42-0 shellacking at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks back in 2005. That 2005 team was also just months removed from a Super Bowl appearance, albeit a loss. This more recent embarrassment seemed to be representative of a team that has not just been suffering from a Super Bowl hangover but something more serious. A Super Bowl coma, perhaps. Just a few months ago, Philadelphia had reason to be optimistic: not only were they coming off an impressive championship run they were getting back starting quarterback Carson Wentz, who they lost to an ACL tear late in the regular season last year.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 9:00 am

TSB appoints Debbie Crosbie as new chief in wake of IT meltdown

CYBG executive will replace Paul Pester, who stepped down after crisis, next year

TSB has appointed CYBG’s Debbie Crosbie as its chief executive to succeed Paul Pester, who stepped down following an IT meltdown in April that locked up to 1.9 million customers out of their accounts.

Crosbie will join from CYBG, where she has worked for more than 20 years and has been chief operating officer since January 2015. She will take up her new role in 2019. Until then, Richard Meddings will continue to run TSB as executive chairman.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 8:37 am

Willem Dafoe: 'With success comes certain things that corrupt you'

The 63-year-old actor talks about playing Vincent Van Gogh in Oscar-tipped biopic At Eternity’s Gate and how he’s juggled art and commerce in his career

You can’t confuse Willem Dafoe with another actor. That red hair, those fierce eyes, the gaunt cheekbones that make him look hungry for the next intense role – whether it’s Jesus, the Green Goblin, or a motel manager in The Florida Project, the part that just scored him his third Oscar nomination. Even in a fine art museum, his face is still unique.

“I think maybe there’s some figures in a Bruegel painting or something that I thought, ‘Oh, that’s an ancestor of mine,’” Dafoe says. But in his new biopic, At Eternity’s Gate – the film that might get Dafoe his fourth Oscar nomination – artist turned director Julian Schnabel sticks a paintbrush in Dafoe’s hand and plasters a bandage over his ear and suddenly, he’s the spitting image of Vincent Van Gogh.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 8:00 am

Nigel Slater’s perfect Christmas recipes

Trout tartare, turkey, pumpkin, quince pies, dishes that balance old flavours and fresh ideas for the year’s most anticipated feast

Some of the rituals of Christmas are, for me, unshakable. The tree with its skeins of ivy and hand-painted decorations, the Kilner jars of marsala-marinated figs and apricots in the cupboard, the ribbon-decked gifts for friends and loved ones and, of course, The Feast. There must be mistletoe hanging from the doorway and holly in the hall, but I do believe Christmas moves on and many of us seek a trimmer yuletide without the gluttony and glitter of the past. What I would like is a Christmas that retains its spirit of bonhomie, thanksgiving and plenty, yet feels more in keeping with modern living. (Had things not moved on, we would still be making our mince pies with mutton and offal and drinking porter.)

I will always play Silent Night and While Shepherds Watched as I make the mince pies, despite being not remotely religious, just as I will always offer a slice of snow-scene Christmas cake to all-comers, but I am happy to tweak the food of tradition to suit a contemporary palate. A fresh, bright-tasting starter in place of a heavy soup, for instance; a smaller, more user-friendly way with the roast; a dessert that is more appropriate after a large dinner and a cake that is lighter and less sweet than the traditional. The age-old ingredients need to be present, otherwise we risk Christmas losing its soul, but they have moved on towards a less heavy feast.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 8:00 am

Why is the skincare industry still ignoring people of colour?

The ‘whitewashing of wellness’ and myths about darker tones make beauty shopping harder for people with melanin-rich skin. Niche labels are filling the gaps, though

We have had snail gels, vampire facials and Oprah once even endorsed a skin cream made with human foreskin. The global skincare industry is set to be worth $180bn (£140bn) by 2024, but according to a report by Superdrug, 70% of black and Asian women in the UK do not feel that the high street caters for them. Systematic racism, the whitewashing of wellness and skin-bleaching scares all make it more difficult for people with melanin-rich skin to find and trust products that work.

I am a caramel hue that browns easily in the sun and greys quickly in the winter, which has given me an uneven skin tone. Skincare shopping is a mirage of one-problem-fits-all labels, and I have blown a small fortune on an arsenal of products that only create new problems, such as drying my skin out, or causing the white bumps of milia to develop. It wasn’t until recently, when I burnt my skin using facial acids and experienced discoloration from a laser treatment, that I finally realised melanin-rich skin can be sensitive, and not “magically resilient”.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 8:00 am

David Hockney’s $90.3m painting reminds us what great art looks like | Jonathan Jones

The record-breaking Portrait of an Artist, painted in 1972, speaks from the heart. Not enough newer work does the same

Bittersweet – you don’t really know what that word means until you have contemplated David Hockney’s 1972 Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures). This painting is a calm distillation of love and sorrow, a sad song about a broken heart – and that heart was Hockney’s. Its sale at Christie’s for an awe-inspiring $90.3m (£70.2m), a new world record for a living artist, adds more layers of bittersweetness. For Hockney at 81, this is a recognition of his place as one of the most remarkable artists of the past 60 years. Yet it comes with barbs.

Related: David Hockney painting earns record $90.3m for living artist

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 8:00 am

Dismantling 2018's cultural snobbery

Whether it’s believing Janelle Monáe is the new Prince or that Studio Ghibli is the ultimate viewing experience, there are some ‘sacred cows’ that deserve questioning

What Glossy American sitcom du jour from the producer behind The Office (US) and Parks and Recreation.
Why everyone loves it Ted Danson has never put in a bad performance in his life; every member of the cast is basically a model; the conceit – that four complicated characters have died and have to puzzle out the afterlife – is better than the usual “six quirky people sort of live together in New York!”
The case against The Good Place is very wholesome and interesting and nice, and in this dark bleak world there’s a lot to be said for having a mild, watchable show where four characters you root for and also quietly want to have sex with go about their days. Sadly, there isn’t a single joke in it, and I feel as if I’m the only person talking about this. The Good Place doesn’t have any jokes! It’s never had a joke in it! It has sentences with the cadence of jokes, and spaces for laughs! But it isn’t funny! It’s just nice! It’s all a trick! Am I the only one going mad?

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 8:00 am

Pranksters plant 'stolen Picasso’ in Romania

Dutch writer who thought she’d found missing painting says she was victim of hoax

A Dutch writer who thought she had found a painting by Pablo Picasso stolen six years ago has said she was the victim of a publicity stunt, media reported.

Picasso’s Harlequin Head was one of seven celebrated paintings snatched from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam in 2012 during a daring robbery local media dubbed “the theft of the century”.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:56 am

Has the ‘New Zealand dream’ turned sour for Auckland's Pacific Islanders?

Touted as the world’s most Polynesian city, Pacific Islanders make up 15% of Auckland’s population. But does the dream of a better life match reality?

It’s Thursday morning in Auckland and the Tongan Older Persons Group is gathering for lunch. Stuffed kūmara (sweet potato) is on the menu. So is a presentation on bowel cancer, and then a few rounds of bingo – using peanuts, fruit and Oreo biscuits instead of cash.

Meleane Mafi, 85, leads a song with lyrics speaking of a longing for palm trees and white shores.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:30 am

Theresa May defies Tory rebels to press on with Brexit deal

Prime minister to insist her deal would allow the UK to control immigration

Theresa May will move to seize back the initiative from mutinous Tory MPs on Monday by promoting her Brexit deal with a defiant speech to business leaders, even as critics in Westminster scramble to trigger a no-confidence vote in her leadership.

As she enters perhaps the most perilous week of her premiership, May will insist at the CBI annual conference in London that her deal delivers on the central demand of voters in the 2016 referendum, by allowing the UK to control immigration.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:23 am

Is Netflix's The Final Table culinary TV's last supper?

It’s MasterChef, but the contestants have Michelin stars and hard-won culinary empires of their own. Why are they debasing themselves like this?

Netflix doesn’t make food programmes. No, instead Netflix flings itself at the feet of the food industry, writhing and scraping with boggle-eyed reverence at anyone who looks as if they know how to make dinner. There is Chef’s Table, a gelatinously sycophantic squirm up the backside of celebrity chefs. Netflix has Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, where Samin Nosrat pretty much just closes her eyes and hums whenever she gets within 15ft of food.

And now Netflix has The Final Table, a food show that is just as slavishly enthusiastic as its peers, but in a slightly different way. Chef’s Table and its ilk are only gently onanistic. The Final Table, though, is just absurd. It’s Nicolas Cage’s Face/Off character, blasted off his box on horse medicine and glue.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:00 am

Should I remortgage for the final 18 months of my loan?

I have an interest-only mortgage and I’m a bit concerned in case the rate goes up

Q My current fixed-rate mortgage deal ends about 18 months before my mortgage comes to an end in 2022. It’s an interest-only mortgage so the last £40,000 should be paid off by my endowment (it was meant to pay off £65,000 but underperformed so this is their latest prediction, and I am too late to make any claim about that). My bank has told me I can’t take out another deal and will have to go on its standard variable rate for the last 18 months of the mortgage. I am a bit concerned in case the rate goes up and I get stung. It seems very unfair. Not only have I had to pay off an extra £25,000 because of the poor investment vehicle but I now might have to pay more interest.

Is there any course of action I can take to improve this situation? Should I remortgage again at some point so I can fix until the end of the term?
AB

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:00 am

'Cages are more dignified': Colombia brings cold comfort for Venezuelans

With Venezuela in turmoil, more than 250,000 people have fled to Colombia’s first migrant camp, in Bogotá. But with scant food and no heating or sanitation, their hardship is unrelenting

The feet of Estilita López, 78 years old, are bloodied and bruised from the arduous journey from Yaracuy, in northern Venezuela, to Bogotá, the Colombian capital. Together with 460 fellow compatriots, she now lives in a new, city-funded migrant camp that has just sprung up on a football pitch near the airport.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:00 am

The human cost of conflict: Lynsey Addario's Of Love and war - in pictures

The photojournalist Lynsey Addario’s disarming and compelling photographs personalise the most remote corners of our world. Her new book of more than 200 photographs reveal the devastating consequences of human conflict from Afghanistan to South Sudan

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:00 am

An introvert's guide to enjoying the party season

You can’t always opt out of social occasions, particularly at this time of year, but there are ways to train yourself to enjoy them

The Christmas party season is looming and while extroverts are licking their lips at the prospect of a full social calendar, many introverts will be plotting the best way to gracefully avoid the season’s festivities. That said, missing certain events can incur a social cost that exceeds any comfort you get from opting out – office Christmas parties or dinner with the in-laws spring to mind.

However, sometimes it is just not advisable to prepare your excuses in advance and avoid them. “If you think about networking, and the way life works, it’s not feasible to think: ‘I’m going to always be able to avoid a party,’” says Geeta Sidhu-Robb, a professional life coach. “If you have to go, try to make it easy for yourself.”

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 7:00 am

How can I overcome imposter syndrome?

Forgive your child self – then write the adult you a super-mushy love letter, says Sharmadean Reid

I’ve got my dream job doing campaigning work for a charity, but in my gut I feel I don’t deserve it and can’t do it well enough. How do I believe in myself and conquer imposter syndrome?

Imposter syndrome is something that has happened to you, not something you are. At some point in your life, you have had people tell you you aren’t good enough, whether it was through snide comments or simply neglect. Whatever they said was not based on fact, and it’s not relevant now.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:59 am

Senior Houthi rebel calls for halt to attacks in Yemen

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Higher Revolutionary Committee, says his groups wants a ceasefire

A high-ranking Houthi official has called for rebels to stop firing rockets and using attack drones in the conflict in Yemen, as a UN envoy prepares to travel to the country to prepare peace talks.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Higher Revolutionary Committee and an influential political figure, tweeted that his group wants “all official Yemeni parties” to demand a ceasefire.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:13 am

Reasons to Stay Alive: how the suicidal Ibiza rave memoir became an album

Matt Haig’s powerful self-help book was a lifeline for Andy Burrows, one-time drummer with Razorlight. Now, with a little help from Kate Hudson, the two men have turned it into music

Andy Burrows is midway through a self-mocking sketch about his unlikely rock star lifestyle – pool parties in LA, writing in Kate Hudson’s piano room – when Matt Haig puts down his beer and interrupts.

“Don’t follow Andy on Instagram,” he chuckles, “because he’s always having a better time than you.”

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

'You're not going to die': how to survive an edible marijuana overdose

Cannabis-linked emergency room visits are on the rise, but the best remedy might just be a Will Ferrell movie

Despite some popular perceptions, marijuana is not a risk-free drug. Edibles in particular pose a threat to novice users because they deliver larger doses of THC than inhaling, and, once ingested, the user has little choice but to ride it out.

Fortunately, in the almost four years since the first fully legal market opened in Colorado, edible-related tragedies have been mercifully rare. One man shot and killed his wife and is now serving a long prison sentence. At least one other person has fallen to their death.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

Noel Edmonds likely to file £60m Lloyds lawsuit on Wednesday

TV star, expected to join I’m a Celebrity this week, says gains will fund charity to help banking victims

The TV and radio star Noel Edmonds, who is expected to join ITV’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here jungle camp this week, is also likely to fire the starting gun on a £60m lawsuit against Lloyds Bank.

The Deal or No Deal star has also pledged to use a portion of any gains from the pending lawsuit to fund a charity for banking victims.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

Can Amara Enyia, backed by hip-hop stars, become Chicago’s first black female mayor?

Enyia, who was little known until Chance the Rapper and Kanye West supported her, is now among the high-profile candidates in a crowded field

Among the sepia portraits on the wall of Chicago’s past mayors in an upscale steakhouse, Amara Enyia’s supporters unveiled a photo of the 35-year-old Nigerian-American mayoral candidate last week.

“It’s in color… no beard… not bald… not white!” called out people from the crowd. They were at the Chop House for a fundraiser headlined by Grammy-winning musician and activist Chance the Rapper, drawing a mix of celebrities, grassroots leaders and regular people new to politics.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

Space: how far have we gone – and where are we going?

Billionaire entrepreneurs are trying to create rockets fit for human travel, while government agencies spend billions furthering their explorations. But we are still a long way off from making our way to the red planet

Space flight is now a venerable industry. Humanity’s first space explorer, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, orbited around the globe on 12 April 1961, more than half a century ago, when Britain remained a colonial power and people were still using halfpennies to buy their fish and chips.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

Poverty exists. Shooting the UN messenger won’t erase that fact | Nesrine Malik

The government can’t go on dismissing evidence that its policies create a two-tier society with deepening divisions

When the then UN special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, visited the UK in April 2014, she had strong words of condemnation for the country’s institutional misogyny and sexist popular culture. She projected what many were familiar and frustrated with: the old boys’ network, the pervasive sexualisation of women, the black hole of human rights that women in detention were thrown into. But nothing happened. Instead the headlines bastardised an observation she made on how overt the UK’s sexist culture was, into “UN special rapporteur says UK most sexist country in the world”.

Media debates erected straw men, asking if the UK really was worse than Somalia or Saudi Arabia. Edwina Currie asked why Manjoo couldn’t “go to a country where women can’t drive cars, or have maternity leave? There are plenty of countries where women face serious problems.’’ One Daily Telegraph blogger argued that, not only is all well, the country is in fact, a “gynocracy” because we’ve had a queen since 1952. Politicians were glad of the misquoted soundbite, and the media was happy to go with it. What was completely missed was that, after a two-week investigation touring prisons and detention centres, and a 4,000-word report, Manjoo raised the alarm, pointing to the disproportionate impact of funding cuts on the provision of services to women and girls at risk of violence. She spelled it out: “Current reforms to the funding and benefits system continue to adversely impact women’s ability to address safety and other relevant issues.”

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

Brexit is a class betrayal. So why is Labour colluding in it? | John Harris

The Tory leave elite is dragging the country towards a disaster that the opposition could still avert by calling for a people’s vote

Over the past two and a half years, while the most vocal leave and remain campaigners have endlessly yelled at each other, Brexit has often presented itself as a case study in contradiction and complexity. Certainly, whenever I have spent time in leave-voting areas, I have always felt deeply ambivalent: sick and tired of the delusions that sit at Brexit’s heart, but also keenly aware that in some of the most neglected parts of England and Wales, a huge chunk of the people who voted for it did so because they had not been listened to for decades. As the whole saga groaned on, if I had a position, it was that Brexit probably had to happen – but that in its inevitably awful consequences might lie some eventual realignment of our politics, and the final death of an exceptionalist English fantasy with no place in the 21st century.

Related: Labour knuckles down but knows 'stop Tory Brexit' not enough | Heather Stewart

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

When a woman sought justice on harassment, the Lords closed ranks | Kate Maltby

Jasvinder Sanghera has spent her life fighting sexual abuse. But the upper house has shielded Lord Lester from punishment

When the #MeToo movement hit Westminster last year, some didn’t see what all the fuss was about. Those of us who had put our names to complaints of sexual harassment were presented as over-privileged women operating in elite institutions: if we were miffed by the odd indecent proposal, or the occasional lunge from a politician, perhaps we needed an education in real suffering.

Related: Female peers condemn 'misogynistic' attitudes in Lord Lester debate

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

National Trust has £30m fossil fuel fund

Exclusive: investments in oil, gas and mining companies held indirectly via portfolio fund

The National Trust has invested tens of millions of pounds in oil, gas and mining firms – despite the conservation charity pledging to cut down its own use of fossil fuels and warning about the impact of climate change.

An investigation by the Guardian has found that the trust – which aims to “nurse the environment back to health” – has more than £30m of investments in oil, gas and mining companies, including BP and Shell, held indirectly via a portfolio fund.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

'Unsustainable' villages risk being frozen in time, say landowners

Critics accuse local planners of allowing nimbyism to drive decisions about rural housing

More than 2,000 English villages risk being “frozen in time” because town halls have ruled they are unsustainable and not suitable for new homes, rural landowners have warned.

Cornwall, Wiltshire and central Lincolnshire are the areas with the most villages that, according to local planning strategies, cannot easily be expanded with new homes because they lack access to services such as post offices and primary schools.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 6:00 am

North Korea defector: next generation have no loyalty to Kim Jong-un – report

In his first interview since his dramatic escape, Oh Chong Song says he does not regret leaving the North

The North Korean soldier who defected to the South in a hail of bullets last year is a general’s son but says most Northerners of his age have no loyalty to Kim Jong-un, according to a Japanese newspaper.

Oh Chong Song’s dramatic dash across the border at the Panmunjom truce village in the Demilitarized Zone – under fire from his comrades – made global headlines last year, and saw him hospitalised with serious injuries.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 5:49 am

Sackler family members face mass litigation, criminal investigations over opioids crisis

Exclusive: Suffolk county in Long Island has sued several family members, and Connecticut and New York are considering criminal fraud and racketeering charges against leading family members

Members of the multi-billionaire philanthropic Sackler family that owns the maker of prescription painkiller OxyContin are facing mass litigation and likely criminal investigation over the opioids crisis still ravaging America.

Some of the Sacklers wholly own Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma, the company that created and sells the legal narcotic OxyContin, a drug at the center of the opioid epidemic that now kills almost 200 people a day across the US.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 5:01 am

Poverty in Britain: a social calamity

As part of his field work for a damning report into poverty in the UK, Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur, visited Newcastle where he found people struggling to negotiate the benefits system and going hungry. He called it a ‘social calamity and an economic disaster’. Plus: John Kerry on how Donald Trump has undermined global institutions

The UK government has inflicted “great misery” on its people with “punitive, mean-spirited, and often callous” austerity policies according to a damning verdict from the United Nations poverty envoy.

As part of Philip Alston’s fact-finding mission around Britain, the Guardian’s social affairs correspondent, Robert Booth, followed the UN envoy for a day in Newcastle. He found people struggling to cope within a benefits system designed to force people into work with built-in delays to payments. Many have been referred to food banks with some still going hungry.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 3:00 am

Damien Hirst delivers controversy with giant uterus sculptures at Qatar hospital

Showpiece outside women’s healthcare centre culminates with 14-metre newborn which has previously raised eyebrows

Health authorities at a hospital in Qatar are braced for an outcry after unveiling 14 giant bronze sculptures by British artist Damien Hirst that graphically chart the voyage from conception to birth.

The vast open-air installation greets patients arriving at the $8bn (£6bn) Sidra medicine hospital and is the centrepiece of a modern art collection that officially opened this week in Doha. Named The Miraculous Journey, it shows a foetus growing in the womb and culminates with a 14-metre (46ft) newborn.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 1:54 am

No limit to height Ireland can reach after historic win against All Blacks

Joe Schmidt outfoxes New Zealand but knows his green machine will have to go up another gear at World Cup

Officially the rankings say otherwise but right now Irish rugby is on top of the world. Even more impressive than Saturday night’s historic first home win over New Zealand in 113 years was the manner of it: tactically brilliant, precision engineered and physically relentless. It is hard to think of a more complete performance by any Ireland side, the stunning rout of the All Blacks in Chicago two years ago included.

Related: All Blacks’ Steve Hansen hails Ireland as best in world after defeat

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 1:00 am

Fake psychiatrist case puts thousands of doctors under scrutiny

Records of 3,000 medics to be reviewed after it emerged that conwoman practised for 22 years on false papers

The records of up to 3,000 doctors are being reviewed after it emerged that a woman worked as a NHS consultant psychiatrist for 22 years with fake qualifications before she was convicted of trying to defraud a patient.

Zholia Alemi, 56, was jailed for five years last month for faking an 87-year-old patient’s will as part of an attempt to inherit her £1.3m estate after they met at a dementia clinic in Workington, Cumbria in 2016.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 12:42 am

The C-word: what are we saying when we talk about cults?

All kinds of violent deeds have been perpetrated in the name of religion, from wars to witch-burnings to child sex abuse cover-ups. Why don’t we use the word cult more widely?

Cults are hot right now, or so it would seem. One of the bestselling literary debuts of recent years, Emma Cline’s The Girls, tells of a teenage girl’s flirtation with a Manson-like cult in the summer of 1969. American Horror Story’s seventh season, subtitled Cult, delivers a political horror story that references the Manson family and Jonestown alongside Trump and creepy clowns. Netflix viewers binged on the 2018 documentary series Wild Wild Country, with its deliriously cool soundtrack and archival footage of the Rajneeshees – followers of controversial guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh.

Related: Jim Jones' lover: inside the mind of the cult leader's right-hand woman

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 12:38 am

'Out! Out!': protests grow in Tijuana against migrant caravan

Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants poured into the Mexican border city in recent days

Hundreds of Tijuana residents have congregated to protest the thousands of Central American migrants who have arrived in the Mexican border city hoping for a new life in the US.

Tensions have built as nearly 3,000 migrants from a caravan that has been travelling through Central America poured into Tijuana in recent days. The federal government estimates the number of migrants could soon swell to 10,000.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 12:37 am

UK house prices fall by £5,000 on average, with south sliding fastest

Biggest November drop since 2012, with former hotspots hit hardest, says Rightmove

House prices fell by more than £5,000 on average in November, sliding fastest in Britain’s wealthiest towns as Brexit uncertainty gripped the property market, according to the website Rightmove.

In the largest November drop in prices since 2012, Rightmove said the average price of property coming to the market was down by 1.7%, or £5,222, on the month alone. It said the biggest falls were in London, where the typical asking price fell by £10,793 (a fall of 1.7%) and in the south-east of England, where prices were down £8,647 (2.1%).

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 12:01 am

UK 'wholly' unprepared to stop devastating cyber-attack, MPs warn

Ministers not taking growing threat to national infrastructure seriously, says committee

Ministers are failing to act with “a meaningful sense of purpose or urgency” in the face of a growing cyber threat to the UK’s critical national infrastructure (CNI), a parliamentary committee has warned.

The joint committee on national security strategy said at a time when states such as Russia were expanding their capability to mount disruptive cyber-attacks, the UK’s level of ministerial oversight was “wholly inadequate”.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 12:01 am

Letting children try alcohol at home won’t deter binge drinking, say UK experts

Campaign dispels myth that introducing alcohol earlier encourages adult moderation

Parents are being urged to delay the moment their child first drinks alcohol because it can damage the growing brain.

The idea that introducing your child to alcohol, for example with a glass of wine at the dinner table, will take away the novelty and deter binge drinking is a myth, say experts. Too many people still believe that families drinking together in France keeps children safe, when actually the county’s rates of alcohol dependence and binge drinking exceed those in the UK.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 12:01 am

Thousands of UK workers denied toilet access, says Unite

Union points finger at high-street banks, construction sites and bus companies

Thousands of people do not have access to basic toilet facilities in their workplace in the UK, according to a major union.

Unite said it had uncovered evidence of staff at branches of big high-street banks being required to urinate in buckets, and construction sites failing to provide any female toilets.

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Posted on 19 November 2018 | 12:01 am

Democrats take Orange County district to cap midterm rout of Republicans

Lottery winner Gil Cisneros’s victory cements a stunning realignment in southern California

The Democratic party has captured another Republican-held US House seat in southern California at the weekend, capping a rout in which the party picked up six congressional seats in the state.

In what had been the last undecided House contest in California, Gil Cisneros beat Republican Young Kim, who admitted defeat on Sunday, for the state’s 39th district seat.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 11:47 pm

England lose to West Indies to set up India semi-final in Women’s World T20

• England 115-8; West Indies 117-6
• West Indies win by four wickets

Coming off second-best in a game that morphed into an engaging scrap but went the way of the West Indies by four wickets with three balls to spare, England will now take on India in the semi-final of the Women’s World T20 on Friday. That this game went the distance was a credit to England’s dogged defence with the ball, led once again by the outstanding Anya Shrubsole after her equally important face-saving efforts with the bat.

The 115 for eight that Heather Knight’s side compiled looked vaguely satisfactory given that it was achieved from 50 for six deep into the 11th over. Playing her first innings for England, Sophia Dunkley looked born for international cricket with her top-scoring hand of 35, adding 55 from 46 balls with Shrubsole, whose 29 is the highest she has made for England in T20s.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 11:41 pm

Scientists unravel secret of cube-shaped wombat faeces

Researchers investigate why excrement emerges in awkward-shaped blocks

Of all the many mysteries that surround the common wombat, it is hard to find one as baffling as its ability – broadly acknowledged as unique in the natural world – to produce faeces shaped like cubes.

Why the pudgy marsupials might benefit from six-faced faeces is generally agreed upon: wombats mark their territorial borders with fragrant piles of poo and the larger the piles the better. With die-shaped dung, wombats boost the odds that their droppings, deposited near burrow entrances, prominent rocks, raised ground and logs, will not roll away. That, at least, is the thinking.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 10:50 pm

Blooming marvellous – Gareth Southgate throws off weeds of caution

With England facing defeat by Croatia, the manager brought on the 18-year-old winger Jadon Sancho and the world turned

Never throw anything away. That was the lesson from this fun, late-breaking England victory. On an unexpectedly epic afternoon at Wembley, Croatia were beaten by an England 2.0 team who decided to muss their hair, throw the briefcase out the window, create a little chaos with long throws and free-kicks; and win, in the end, a bit like England 1.0.

There was a wonderful note of theatre about the finish. As the sun dipped below the lip of the Wembley roof England were 1-0 down then, at 1-1, five minutes from relegation for the first time in their history – and indeed at the very first opportunity. One slightly wild attacking surge later and England are now marching on instead to (it says here) Portugal for a semi-final against whoever December’s Uefa draw at the home of football (AKA the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin) decides to throw their way.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 10:17 pm

Ireland defeat could be pre-World Cup tipping point for All Blacks

This loss may not prove to be such a good thing for rugby for simple reason New Zealand are going to get better because of it

When I was playing for the All Blacks we would always talk about making sure that after the November series we did not have “a stone under the beach towel” during the off-season. Make no mistake, the New Zealand coaches and players have rocks under theirs now.

Having said that, regardless of what Steve Hansen says, New Zealand are still the best team in the world and they are the favourites for next year’s World Cup. Yes, the gap has been closed a significant amount but the big question is whether the All Blacks should be panicking now, and I still think the answer is no. All credit to Ireland, they deserved their fantastic victory and they are being widely congratulated and rightly so, but I wonder if it does prove to be such a good thing for the world of rugby for the simple reason that the All Blacks are going to get better because of it.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 10:06 pm

Peanut allergy treatment around the corner but cost raises concerns

Scientists think treatment in which children take increasing doses of peanut protein will be approved next year

The first medical treatment for children with peanut allergies is likely to be approved next year but there are concerns about its affordability, even though it consists essentially of peanut flour.

A study in the US and at the UK’s Evelina children’s hospital shows that gradually increasing a tiny initial dose of peanut protein over six months enabled two-thirds of children eventually to eat two peanuts without ill effects. The paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, follows a similar, smaller trial in Cambridge, UK, four years ago.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 9:45 pm

California fires: death toll rises to 79 as winds threaten efforts to control blaze

Strong winds expected to hamper progress for crews battling Camp fire, which is still only 55% contained 10 days after it started

Strong winds on Sunday were expected to hamper progress for crews battling California wildfires which have now claimed at least 79 lives.

Gusts of up to 50mph were threatening efforts to control the Camp blaze, which is still only 55% contained 10 days after it brought devastation to northern California.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 8:11 pm

Rueful Magnus Carlsen 'way too soft' in Game 7 draw with Fabiano Caruana

A rueful Magnus Carlsen lamented his gun-shy, conservative play after Sunday’s draw in the seventh game of his world championship title defense against Fabiano Caruana in London, which left the best-of-12-games match in 3½-all deadlock.

Related: Magnus Carlsen and Fabiano Caruana remain deadlocked after taut Game 7 – live!

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 8:11 pm

Ben Jennings on Theresa May and the Tory rebels – cartoon

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 7:43 pm

Doctor Who recap: series 37, episode 7 – Kerblam!

Poking fun at big corporations soon turns more sinister, while Corrie’s Julie Hesmondhalgh is a delight as always

Doctor Who loves to make the everyday terrifying – and this week it is time to ruin impulsive internet purchases for a generation. The latest target in the crosshairs of Chris Chibnall’s endless quest to maintain social justice through the medium of Doctor Who is ... Amazon! (Other widely criticised online retailers are available.) And in what is presumably a broadside against single-use plastics ... killer bubblewrap! In a series of Doctor Who that has not always been as berserk as we’re used to, this is most welcome.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 7:20 pm

Brexit transition could be extended to 2022, says Barnier

Plan allows two extra years for negotiation, but would cost billions and enrage Tory Brexiters

Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has raised the prospect of the UK remaining under EU control until the end of 2022, a proposal that would cost billions and infuriate Tory Brexiters.

At a special meeting with ambassadors from the EU’s 27 member states, Barnier floated the prospect of extending the Brexit transition until the end of 2022. His idea would allow an extra two years to negotiate a trading relationship, but means the UK would continue to follow EU rules and pay into its budget with no say for six and a half years after the 2016 vote to leave.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 6:55 pm

Labour knuckles down but knows 'stop Tory Brexit' not enough | Heather Stewart

Party conscious it needs to do more than sit back and watch Conservatives fail

Jeremy Corbyn’s team were cheered by the weekend’s polls, which showed voters seem prepared to punish the Conservatives for the internecine squabble over Brexit that has dominated the headlines.

They now plan to spend the next fortnight or so, before May’s deal comes before the Commons (if her own MPs allow her to get that far), explaining why they reject her approach.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 6:04 pm

Jamal Khashoggi killers 'may have taken body parts out of Turkey in luggage'

Turkish defence minister says killers of Khashoggi may have taken his dismembered body out of Turkey in a luggage

Donald Trump has refused to listen to audio tape of the murder of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, while saying the killing was “vicious”.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, the president told presenter Chris Wallace: “I don’t want to hear the tape, no reason for me to hear the tape.”

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 4:51 pm

Best photos of the day: from skywalkers to skaters

Our picture editors choose their favourite images from the past 24 hours, from demonstrations in Athens to a Latvian light festival

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 4:02 pm

Artist Gavin Turk arrested in London climate change protest

Turk held for obstructing public highway and has no regrets in taking part in mass civil disobedience

The British artist Gavin Turk has said every member of the public will feel the impact of the climate emergency sooner rather than later, after he was arrested during mass civil disobedience in central London.

Turk, who was among 82 people arrested during a coordinated occupation of five bridges in the capital, said the pressure to force governments to act to reduce climate change was “the new future”.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 3:56 pm

From improv to Ishtar: the many lives of comedy genius Elaine May

Trailblazing comic, Oscar-nominated writer and acting sensation Elaine May is back on Broadway. Nathan Lane, Cybill Shepherd and others reveal what makes her tick

The very idea ought to be mind-boggling. Elaine May, now 86, is currently starring as a woman in the grip of Alzheimer’s in The Waverly Gallery, the Pulitzer-nominated play by Kenneth Lonergan. But the mere thought of her being on a Broadway stage virtually every day for the next few months will astonish anyone acquainted with the extraordinary life and career of this reclusive actor, writer and director.

May’s improvisational sketches with the late Mike Nichols made stars of them both in the 1950s and 1960s, revealing them to be the architects of a biting, sophisticated new species of comedy. Edmund Wilson called May “something of a genius”. Robert Towne, screenwriter of Chinatown, said: “She’s always been ahead of the rest of us. You could even say that there are times when the zeitgeist follows her.” And Richard Burton wrote in his diary: “Elaine was too formidable … one of the most intelligent, beautiful and witty women I had ever met. I hoped I would never see her again.”

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 3:00 pm

Black Friday 2018: the best UK deals as early offers get under way

Preparation is key to getting the best Black Friday deals, so try this handy guide to what’s on offer in the UK

The countdown is on to Britain’s biggest shopping event – Black Friday – and with many high street retailers struggling, shoppers can expect to bag some good bargains.

This year Black Friday falls on 23 November and will be followed three days later by Cyber Monday, probably the busiest day of the year for online shopping.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 2:39 pm

From gaslighting to gammon, 2018’s buzzwords reflect our toxic times | Emma Brockes

Forget the neutral ‘glamping’ and ‘vape’ – Oxford Dictionaries’ new words of the year are products of our heightened politics

In the space of a single week I have, without overly noticing at the time, accused someone of “gaslighting” me for being excessively cheerful on the phone when I thought sobriety was required; described to someone else an intention to do a “hard reset on my boundaries” after I was kept waiting and didn’t adequately protest; complained about the “toxic” atmosphere introduced after an argument; and outlined what I considered to be the problematic “centring”, within a conversation, of certain issues at the expense of other, more important issues.

The takeaway from this, apart from the fact that I am a very fun person to be around, is that none of these descriptors are words I would have used even five years ago – a fact born out by the Oxford Dictionaries’ announcement this week of their most popular words of the year. “Toxic” came out top for the sheer breadth of its usage – starting, as noted in the New York Times, with the widespread uptake of “toxic masculinity” in the wake of #MeToo, and from there spreading outwards to encompass every shade of dysfunctional relationship.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 1:04 pm

Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'challenge'

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘challenge’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment, published in print in the Observer New Review is ‘challenge’ (please note that these are no longer published online).

Share your photos of what challenge means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 9:00 am

The charge of the chatbots: how do you tell who’s human online?

Automated ‘voices’ that were supposed to do mundane tasks online also now spread hate speech and polarise opinion. Are they a boon or a threat?

Alan Turing’s famous test of whether machines could fool us into believing they were human – “the imitation game” – has become a mundane, daily question for all of us. We are surrounded by machine voices, and think nothing of conversing with them – though each time I hear my car tell me where to turn left I am reminded of my grandmother, who having installed a telephone late in life used to routinely say goodnight to the speaking clock.

We find ourselves locked into interminable text chats with breezy automated bank tellers and offer our mother’s maiden name to a variety of robotic speakers that sound plausibly alive. I’ve resisted the domestic spies of Apple and Amazon, but one or two friends jokingly describe the rapport they and their kids have built up with Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Home Hub – and they are right about that: the more you tell your virtual valet, the more you disclose of wants and desires, the more speedily it can learn and commit to memory those last few fragments of your inner life you had kept to yourself.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 7:00 am

The big picture: one billboard in Arizona

Rob Hann’s image of a road sign in Arizona is simple, upbeat… and still something of a mystery

One rainy evening in London, Rob Hann was sitting at home watching a TV programme about modern art in Texas. Transfixed by the sunny blue skies and the sprawling desert landscapes, he decided to plan a road trip to America’s south-west.

Usually a portrait photographer (his subjects range from Daft Punk and JG Ballard to Chloë Sevigny), on the road, Hann turned his lens to the strange sights along the way. He became particularly interested in signs, inspired in part by Ed Ruscha’s use of text in his paintings and Wim Wenders’s photography book Written in the West.

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Posted on 18 November 2018 | 7:00 am

Pet project: Amsterdam's animal photographer – in pictures

As the Dutch capital’s first official pet portraitist, Isabella Rozendaal has created an eye-catching portfolio of animal photography. Here we show some highlights.

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Posted on 17 November 2018 | 7:00 pm

Recycling the old masters – in pictures

Dutch artist Suzanne Jongmans creates photographs that echo the old masters, but with a modern twist: she crafts intricate costumes using recycled plastics, old blankets and used packaging. Jongmans finds inspiration in painters such as Jan van Eyck, Rembrandt and Holbein, whose level of detail she aims to replicate. “When you look at the old masters, you can really see the time that is put into the paintings,” she says. “And that fits with the method I developed.” There is an implicit environmental message in her work but, she says, her primary objective is giving a new life to these old materials. “I’m a collector mostly – I collect all kinds of things, like blankets, wool, things from nature. And I would like all these materials to tell a story.”

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Posted on 17 November 2018 | 5:00 pm

The Christmas gift guide: 100 great buys for every budget

The shop starts here: from understated stocking fillers to the unapologetically over-the-top, get going with 100 hand-picked presents for every price, person and palate from Guardian Weekend’s editors and columnists

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Posted on 17 November 2018 | 12:00 pm

'Ha, I love this question!': Michelle Obama interviewed by Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Sadiq Khan and more

How has America changed since the former first lady was little? Is she still dancing? She takes questions from pop stars, politicians, artists – and schoolchildren

How has America changed since the former first lady was little? Is she still dancing? She takes questions from pop stars, politicians, artists – and schoolchildren

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Posted on 17 November 2018 | 7:00 am

The big sleep: how the world's most troubled country is beating a deadly disease

Beset by war, violence and political instability, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is not the ideal place to be trying to stamp out sleeping sickness, a killer illness. But that is what is happening

The Kasai river slides far across the plain. When the rains come, the sandbars in the middle – where fishermen have built temporary encampments consisting of straw huts – will disappear, making the river wider still.

Local people will tell you it’s just a rivière; in this country, they reserve the word fleuve, a big river, for the mighty Congo alone.

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Posted on 16 November 2018 | 12:08 pm

A day of Brexit chaos

Anushka Asthana joins her colleagues in Westminster on a chaotic and extraordinary day in British politics as Theresa May attempted to build support for her Brexit deal while members of her cabinet resigned in protest. Plus: in an exclusive extract from her autobiography, Michelle Obama reveals how she met her husband, Barack

Theresa May lost two of her Brexiter cabinet ministers in a frenzied morning at Westminster. Dominic Raab, the Brexit secretary, and Esther McVey, the work and pensions secretary, resigned in protest at the prime minister’s Brexit deal.

Anushka Asthana headed straight to Westminster for one of the most chaotic days in British politics in years. The Guardian’s Dan Sabbagh explains how the hard Brexiters are gathering letters of no confidence in a bid to remove May, while the Labour party stands ready to take power if the government collapses and a general election is required.

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Posted on 16 November 2018 | 3:00 am

Why our readers' support is vital to the Guardian's future

By supporting our journalism, you can become part of a global community of over a million Guardian readers with a shared set of core values and a vision for a more hopeful world

Thank you to the 1,000,000 Guardian readers who have offered us their support over the past three years. Many readers haven’t stopped at financial support; tens of thousands have shared their thoughts on our journalism, on world events and told us detailed personal stories. Many have articulated their reasons for supporting independent journalism, and why it matters in their own lives. Thank you to everyone who’s taken the time to write to us or respond to our call-outs for your viewpoints – your input continues to be enlightening and is fundamental to our work shaping an approach to the Guardian’s sustainability that works for us all.

Related: Katharine Viner: 'The Guardian's reader funding model is working. It's inspiring'

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Posted on 15 November 2018 | 11:00 am

'There's a lot of power in being young': Hamilton lead actor Jamael Westman on making change - video

Jamael Westman, the lead actor in the West End production of Hamilton, talks to the Guardian's Iman Amrani backstage at the Victoria Palace Theatre, discussing the power of youth to make change, whether Hamilton is part of a wider 'black renaissance' and what theatre can do to attract a more diverse audience.  This film is part of a new ongoing series, 'Fresh Voices' presented by Iman Amrani

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Posted on 15 November 2018 | 7:00 am

The legacy of Islamic State in Iraq

Two years on from the ‘liberation’ of Fallujah from Isis control, the Guardian’s Peter Beaumont has returned to the Iraqi city. Plus: Polly Toynbee on the one thing everyone can agree on when it comes to Brexit

Almost a year ago, the Iraqi government declared victory over the Islamic State terror group, who for three years had gained control of large areas of the country. Millions lived under their brutal rule and many thousands died.

Two years on from the ‘liberation’ of the city of Fallujah by US and Iraqi forces, the Guardian senior reporter Peter Beaumont has returned to see if normal life has resumed.

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Posted on 15 November 2018 | 3:00 am

The climate protesters ready to go to prison for the planet – video

With only 12 years to limit climate change catastrophe, according to a UN report, a group of activists called Extinction Rebellion ​have launched a campaign of civil disobedience across London in an attempt to provoke action

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Posted on 14 November 2018 | 4:12 pm

The new green superpower? Oil giant Kazakhstan tries to wean itself off the black stuff – video

Kazakhstan is rich with oil, gas and coal but Nursultan Nazarbayev, its president for life, has committed the country to a dramatic shift from fossil fuels to green energy. Is this huge nation, which is beset by rural poverty, major infrastructure challenges and environmental crises, able to realise his vision? Phoebe Greenwood travels to  the Kazakh capital, Astana, and the Aral Sea region


Many thanks to Kunzberg spatial communications for the use of music from the Future Astana Expo installation


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Posted on 14 November 2018 | 10:56 am

'More than just a newspaper': Guardian writers thank readers for their support

As we reach the milestone of 1 million supporters globally, our journalists explain how your support has had an impact on their reporting and the real world beyond our pages

One million thank yous to all our wonderful Guardian supporters. Where would we be without you? No, literally: where? You’re the lead in our pencil, the oil in our engine, the wind beneath our … my God, I sound like Boris Johnson. I can’t apologise enough. I will endeavour to continue writing columns that DON’T sound like Boris Johnson – though may sometimes be about him – as long as you will have me.
Marina Hyde, Guardian columnist

I never cease to be amazed at the loyalty, strength and passion of Guardian supporters and I want to say thank you to each and every one of you. Without your incredible support it would be that much harder to fund the painstaking work of investigations – such as the work we did recently into the treatment of rape survivors in the criminal justice system. Knowing that our readers support our work helped make that series of stories possible, and feedback from our readers gives us the motivation to keep on pushing to find out more and do our part to challenge injustice.
Alexandra Topping, senior reporter

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Posted on 14 November 2018 | 10:41 am

Share your Caribbean highlights for the chance to win a £200 hotel voucher

Send us a tip on affordable experiences in the Caribbean, be they places to stay, activities and attractions, or bars and restaurants

Palm-fringed beaches, rum punch and infectious reggae beats … Carnivals, rainforest and a laid-back vibe … The Caribbean is one of the world’s most alluring holiday destinations, and we want to hear your highlights – especially for those not on an A-lister budget. It might be a cosy guesthouse, a hidden beach, a seafood shack or a wildlife-rich jungle trail.

Please be specific about locations, and include prices and websites were appropriate.

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Posted on 13 November 2018 | 4:19 pm

From Iceland to India: the global community supporting the Guardian

Our interactive map shows the countries where Guardian supporters are, and why some decided to help fund our work

Since 2015, the number of Guardian supporters has grown to include readers, listeners and viewers from across the world.

Thanks to their financial support, we have been able to keep our quality, independent journalism open to everyone, free of charge, wherever they are.

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Posted on 13 November 2018 | 12:06 pm

Katharine Viner: 'The Guardian's reader funding model is working. It's inspiring'

The Guardian’s editor-in-chief reflects on the state of media today and explains how the support of 1 million readers has enabled us to report and investigate the most important stories of our time

Three and a half years ago, when I took over as editor-in-chief, we were faced with the urgent challenge of how to make the Guardian sustainable.

The situation looked bleak across the media. Print advertising was in steep decline, and digital advertising growth was going almost entirely to Google and Facebook. News organisations everywhere were searching for answers to the challenge that they were being read more than ever before, but with fewer ways to cover costs. Month by month, more and more news outlets went behind a paywall.

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Posted on 12 November 2018 | 9:32 am

Beto 2020? Why some think Beto O'Rourke has what it takes to become president - video profile

O'Rourke's bid to unseat Ted Cruz in the US midterms narrowly failed – but his audacious grassroots campaign sprinkled seeds of Democratic rebirth and has drawn whispers of a presidential run. What is it that makes people think the Texas congressman has what it takes to get into the White House?

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Posted on 10 November 2018 | 10:28 am

Tell us: who do you share your home with?

As part of a new series in the Guardian’s Weekend magazine we are looking for interesting pairs who live together

Our notion of the traditional household is changing. Today, the place we call home can include extended families, friends, and even strangers. Our new series of columns celebrates the many ways we choose to live together – and we’re looking for your input.

Related: 'I worried my grandson would get into trouble if I didn't take him in'

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Posted on 10 November 2018 | 6:45 am

Fight or flight: the veterans at war with PTSD - video

One hundred years on from the end of the first world war, a group of veterans in Dorset are torn between their pride in their military careers and their anger over the lack of psychological support provided to them by the Ministry of Defence. With many feeling abandoned and left to battle significant mental health issues such as PTSD alone, former soldier Andy Price decides to take matters into his own hands, launching the Veteran’s Hub, a peer-to-peer support network for veterans and their families. Over the course of a year, the Guardian’s Richard Sprenger follows Andy on his journey.

You can contact the Veterans Hub here.

In the UK, contact the Samaritans for free from any telephone on 116 123.

In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14.

Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org

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Posted on 8 November 2018 | 12:03 pm

La caravana: On the road with the migrant caravan – video

Thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala head north hoping to find work and a better life in the US. The largest Central American caravan in decades keeps growing as thousands more join this journey – but when they reach Mexico, the migrant caravan starts taking different directions

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Posted on 5 November 2018 | 3:44 pm

More than a million readers contribute financially to the Guardian

Business model showing way for journalism to ‘regain its relevance’, says editor-in-chief

More than a million people worldwide have contributed to the Guardian in the last three years, with 500,000 paying to support the publication on an ongoing basis, according to Guardian News and Media’s editor-in-chief, Katharine Viner.

She said the business model was showing a new way for journalism to “regain its relevance, meaning and trusted place in society”.

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Posted on 5 November 2018 | 3:40 pm

Looking for cheap rent? Try a haunted house – video

Comedian Tanishi Matsubara has an unusual system for renting cheaply in Osaka - he seeks out 'stigmatised property': places in which the previous inhabitant has died. In Japan, the belief that such properties are haunted has even led to a law which means potential tenants must be informed

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Posted on 31 October 2018 | 7:00 am

Why we should be paying more for parking – video explainer

Charging more for parking could save the environment, ease congestion and inject energy back into the high street. But how? The Guardian's Peter Walker explains that we've been thinking about parking all wrong: it's not a right, but rather an over-subsidised waste of space


Sources: The High Cost of Free Parking (2011) - Donald Shoup; Psychology of the Car (2017) - Stefan Gössling; Research into the Use and Effectiveness of Maximum Parking Standards - Department of Transport


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Posted on 30 October 2018 | 11:24 am

Visiting Julian Cole: the man paralysed after being tackled outside a nightclub - video

In 2013 Julian Cole was arrested by six police officers outside a nightclub in Bedford. His neck was broken. He is now paralysed and suffers from severe brain damage. 

In this film, made in 2016, his mother, Claudia, continues her years of visiting him in a care home twice a day. His friends also drop by. We experience these visits with Claudia and three of Julian’s closest friends, witness the trauma this event has caused in their lives and wait with them as they hold out hope that justice will come from the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

In 2018, three police officers were sacked for lying in relation to this incident.

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Posted on 25 October 2018 | 1:09 pm

'Absurd and degrading': how universal credit can ruin lives – video

The government's controversial welfare overhaul has been plagued with difficulties from the outset. Payment delays have left people with mounting debt and facing eviction as demand for food banks soars. Trent from Doncaster tells us how he has been affected

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Posted on 24 October 2018 | 1:01 pm

Slavoj Žižek tells Owen Jones: 'Clinton is the problem, not Trump' - video

The philosopher Slavoj Žižek says the collapse of the centre-left welfare state consensus has led to the global rise of the new right. He argues the left 'ceased to question the fundamentals of the system' and that the crucial political battleground in the US is within the Democratic party

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Posted on 24 October 2018 | 12:02 pm

'I resent the job-for-life notion': why everyone wants a side hustle

Apparently, the age of the side hustle is upon us, but just what is it? And why should we care? Author of The Multi-Hyphen Method, Emma Gannon, explains

Now ubiquitous on either side of the Atlantic, the US term “side hustle” refers to a passion project that falls outside of your primary job. You probably knew that. You may even have one. According to Henley Business School, one in four Brits do. By 2030, they predict that figure will have risen to 50%.

There are plenty of reasons someone would start a side hustle. With studies stating that more than 50% of UK workers are unhappy in their jobs, we’re looking elsewhere for the fulfillment, development and income missing from our careers. That’s why so many side hustles start as hobbies (48% of them, according GoDaddy).

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Posted on 23 August 2018 | 11:19 am

'I couldn't go to the jobcentre - I didn't have a CV': building my business as a refugee

When Moh Agha fled the war in Syria and arrived in the UK, he started selling books on ebay to support his family. Now he stocks more than 3,500 items and runs training courses for other refugees. This is how he got back in business

Moh Agha had a lot to take in when he first arrived in the UK with his young family in November 2013. “It’s not easy moving to a new country with a wife and two small children,” he says. “Everything was unfamiliar. We had no friends or family, it was very cold and people spoke very fast and with a strong accent.”

Back in Damascus, before the war broke out, Agha had built up a successful importing business. He travelled regularly between Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Lebanon and Syria for work. “Our turnover was around $25m [£19.2m] a year,” he says. “People think the war only affected people physically, but because we couldn’t renew our passports or get visas, my business couldn’t operate.”

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Posted on 13 August 2018 | 10:38 am

Is your local council facing cuts? Share your tips

We’d like your help to find out more about current or future cuts to UK council services. If you’re aware of any where you live, please get in touch

This summer Northamptonshire county council, which is technically insolvent, published proposals that could lead to drastic loss of jobs and cuts to all its services over the next few months including core services such as children’s and adult social care. East-Sussex county council, has said it was preparing to cut back services to the bare legal minimum to cope with a cash shortfall that could leave it bankrupt within three years.

We would like to find out if there are any other councils around the UK that are experiencing or about to undergo cuts to services because of financial pressures. If you have knowledge about council services where you live, we would like to know the following:

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Posted on 8 August 2018 | 3:14 pm

Meet the former banker changing how women dress for business

After eight years as an investment banker, wearing dispiriting, constrictive suits, Joanna Dai swapped finance for fashion, launching her label DAI ­to create stylish, comfortable clothes that work for work

Joanna Dai, 32, remembers the eureka moment when she came up with the idea for her clothing label DAI. As an investment banker at JP Morgan, she was used to gruelling hours and frequent business travel, but wearing uncomfortable suits for 20 hours a day was the final straw. “I was on a night flight back to Heathrow from Stockholm, having got dressed that morning at 4am. I was sitting there with my waistband digging in, a blazer where my arms couldn’t go above my head and I just thought: ‘Why couldn’t there be something that looked like a power suit, but felt like my yoga kit?’”

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Posted on 15 June 2018 | 1:58 pm

Five simple dos (and five definite don'ts) for budding entrepreneurs

Struggling to sift through the cliched self-help quotes and business jargon for something constructive? Entrepreneurial experts share their hard-learned lessons, from the genuinely useful to what to avoid

Don’t get lost in the crowd
You may think your product is better than everything else, but without something distinctive about it, it’s not going to stand out. “When I do consultancy work occasionally and, say, someone’s made a new T-shirt, I’ll say: ‘What’s so good about it?’” says Kuldip Singh Sahota, founder and chief executive of Mr Singh’s chilli sauces and crisps. “They’ll say, the fabric or design, but that’s what everyone says. What’s going to make you stand out? That’s where your brand and authenticity comes in, especially in such a crowded market.”

Dave Bailey, a business coach and entrepreneur, agrees: “When you’re starting a new business, you have to get people to believe what you believe. And they’re never going to believe someone they think is fake or doing it for the wrong reasons.”

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Posted on 8 June 2018 | 4:05 pm