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George Floyd protests: Minnesota governor orders full mobilisation of national guard – live
Protests rock cities across US as anger over killing spreadsAtlanta police chief: ‘black lives being diminished’ Officer in George Floyd killing charged with murderGet a fresh perspective on America – sign up to our First Thing newsletter 7.42pm BST Washington DC mayor Muriel Bowser has strongly rebuked Donald Trump, after a few days in which the President of the United States has spoken with apparent relish about the weapons he can turn on his own citizens. “To make a reference to vicious dogs is no subtle reminder to African Americans of segregationists who let dogs out on women, children, and innocent people in the south,” Bowser said.While he hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/ people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right after the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & hundreds of years of institutional racismThere are no vicious dogs & ominous weapons. There is just a scared man. Afraid/alone... 7.30pm BST Attorney general William Barr has been speaking in Washington, promising to enforce federal laws against crossing state lines or using inter-state facilities “to incite or participate in violent rioting”. “Outside agitators” have been taking over protests over the death of George Floyd, he says.Attorney General Barr says organized protesters who cross state lines to engage in rioting will be prosecuted for federal crimes. Watch: pic.twitter.com/iY9y6d0bryActive-duty forces are normally prohibited from acting as a domestic law enforcement agency. But the Insurrection Act [of 1807, last used in Los Angeles in 1992] offers an exception.The Act would allow the military to take up a policing authority it otherwise would not be allowed to do, enforcing state and federal laws, said Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas School of Law professor who specializes in constitutional and national security law. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 18:43:20 GMT)

Dominic Cummings row: senior health official says lockdown rules 'apply to all'
England’s deputy chief medical officer says country is at ‘very dangerous moment’ as restrictions easeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEngland’s deputy chief medical officer has said that the lockdown rules “are clear and they have always been clear”, in the strongest condemnation yet by a senior health official of Dominic Cummings’ lockdown breach.It comes as the government’s own science advisers broke cover over its decision to ease lockdown measures, with a growing number expressing concerns about plans for England from Monday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 17:26:51 GMT)

Coronavirus live news: deaths surge in Brazil and Russia as Trump says US is quitting WHO
Afghanistan similarly reports worst day yet; Angela Merkel said she will not attend G7 if Trump insists on holding it. All the developments liveIndia to partially lift lockdown despite record infectionsTrump announces severing of ties with WHOCoronavirus latest: at a glance 7.22pm BST Although outdoor gatherings in groups larger than two isn’t permitted in England until Monday, from when people can meet outdoors in groups of up to six, large crowds flocked to beaches and parks on the weekend.Here a picture of a crowded beach on Saturday at Durdle Door, a famous beauty spot on England’s Jurassic Coast. 7.08pm BST The number of confirmed coronavirus infections in Poland increased by 416 since Friday evening and reached 23,571, the Ministry of Health said on Saturday. Ten additional deaths were reported since Friday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 18:29:23 GMT)

'I’m stuck in limbo': will the Covid generation of young people face long-term fallout?
After a first taste of freedom, many teenagers and students are finding themselves back with their parents, and strugglingOn 20 April, Lucy left her house in a small market town in Buckinghamshire and walked through winding country lanes to a quiet field. There, her friend Owen was waiting with a joint already rolled. The weather was balmy; barely a cloud in sight. The pair smoked and caught up on school gossip, before Lucy judged that she should probably head home – any longer, and her parents might become suspicious.When she got back, she chatted to her family, before heading upstairs to her bedroom, her mother none the wiser. Lucy, who is 17, wasn’t going to let the coronavirus pandemic stop her marking 4/20, the international day of cannabis celebration. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:35 GMT)

Calls to lift lockdown in UK care homes over fears for residents' mental health
Relatives and social care chiefs warn that Covid-19 social isolation is contributing to deaths of residentsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSenior social care leaders are calling on ministers to prioritise unlocking care homes amid growing concerns that mental health problems are contributing to the deaths of residents.Most care homes have been closed to visitors since the lockdown began, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but many fear the lack of contact with loved ones has had serious consequences on residents’ mental and physical wellbeing. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:25:46 GMT)

Coronavirus latest: at a glance
A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreakFollow our latest coronavirus blog for live news and updatesKey developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include: Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:59:45 GMT)

Cash in the time of coronavirus: how to get in financial shape for the new normal
Guardian Money helps you put your finances in order while adapting to a new way of livingThe coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on all of us. About 8.4 million workers have been furloughed, tens of thousands have lost their jobs and many self-employed workers’ incomes have taken a hit. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:00:40 GMT)

Coronavirus UK map: the latest deaths and confirmed cases near you
Latest figures from public health authorities on the spread of Covid-19 in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Find out how many confirmed cases have been reported in each local authorityPlease note: these are government figures on numbers of confirmed cases – some people who report symptoms are not being tested, and are not included in these counts. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 11:35:22 GMT)

Sage minutes reveal how UK advisers reacted to coronavirus crisis
Government releases papers showing how advice changed in run-up to lockdownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe UK government released more than 50 documents on Friday – including the minutes of 34 meetings of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). The documents set out how scientists tracked – and reacted to – the pandemic. By mid-March, a sense of panic was setting in. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 17:29:34 GMT)

Shortage of PPE may force reopened dentists to limit treatments
Despite relaxing of lockdown rules, patients in pain could still have to resort to DIY fillingsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePeople suffering from toothache may continue to struggle to get appointments with their dentist and more could be forced to resort to extreme DIY measures, despite the government announcement that dental practices can open from next week.The chief dental officer for England, Sara Hurley, last week asked the country’s 10,000 practices to start offering routine appointments from 8 June but the British Dental Association has warned that many surgeries will be unable to carry out a full range of treatments because of widespread shortages of personal protective equipment. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 13:30:44 GMT)

'No faith in our leaders': lockdown diaries reveal anger over Cummings
A weekly study of 50 Britons exposes the fury over the chief adviser’s trip to Durham and its implications for Boris Johnson Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe Westminster village often gets over-excited about news that, frankly, passes the ordinary voter by. What happens there can seem to have little relevance to people’s lives. But, according to BritainThinks’ coronavirus diaries, the Dominic Cummings story unearthed by the Guardian/Mirror investigation is different.Our diarists, 50 people from all walks of life, are keeping weekly accounts of their lives in lockdown. They were clear that this news from Westminster matters. Entries from last weekend were dominated by Cummings, the chief adviser to Boris Johnson, and his trip to Durham.  Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 12:25:43 GMT)

Trump praises Secret Service and threatens protesters with 'vicious dogs'
George Floyd protest outside White House dispersedOfficers had ‘most vicious dogs and most ominous weapons’George Floyd: protests rock cities as Trump lashes out – liveRev William Barber: America must listen to its woundsDonald Trump has praised the US Secret Service for confronting protesters who massed outside the White House on Friday night, tweeting that had any of the crowd breached the fence, they “would have been greeted with the most vicious dogs, and most ominous weapons, I have ever seen”. Related: Police violence in America: six years after Ferguson, George Floyd's killing shows little has changed Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 18:30:10 GMT)

Global report: new clues about role of pangolins in Covid-19 as US severs ties with WHO
Experts condemn Trump’s actions; India records worst daily rise in infections; surges in Russia and Brazil; Australia tests sewage waterCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageScientists claim to have found more clues about how the new coronavirus could have spread from bats through pangolins and into humans, as India reported its worst single-day rise in new cases, and the number of Covid-19 infections worldwide neared 6 million.Writing in the journal Covid-19 Science Advances, researchers said an examination of the closest relative of the virus found that it was circulating in bats but lacked the protein needed to bind to human cells. They said this ability could have been acquired from a virus found in pangolins – a scaly mammal that is one of the most illegally trafficked animals in the world. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 05:39:21 GMT)

Merkel won't attend Trump's G7 'unless pandemic changes'
German chancellor will monitor spread of coronavirus before committing to meetingCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe German chancellor, Angela Merkel, will not attend a face-to-face meeting in the US with the leaders of the world’s major economies if Donald Trump goes ahead with it, unless the course of the coronavirus spread changes by then, her office said.After cancelling the G7 summit, originally scheduled for 10 to 12 June at Camp David, Trump said a week ago that he was considering rescheduling an in-person meeting of world leaders because it would be a “great sign to all” of things returning to normal during the pandemic. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 08:54:33 GMT)

Cemeteries braced for surge in Covid-19 dead as Mexico readies to reopen
The president says the pandemic has been tamed but experts, and those who must bury the dead, fear an alarming rise in casesFour generations of Enrique Ruvalcaba’s family have worked at the Mezquitán cemetery in the Mexican city of Guadalajara. None of them ever saw anything like this. Before the coronavirus, the burial ground was open to the public, and the deceased were honoured by flower-carrying mourners and mariachis. Now the dead arrive in silence and alone. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 09:15:39 GMT)

Cummings and Johnson evil geniuses? Hardly, just lazy and incompetent | Nick Cohen
Boris Johnson and his aide are alike in their reliance on deception to prop up their vanityForeigners can sometimes see a country with the greatest clarity. British politicians and journalists, who think themselves sophisticated, watched Dominic Cummings’ press conference in the Downing Street rose garden on Monday – along with countless citizens outraged by elite double standards. To my knowledge, only one viewer saw the trick Cummings was pulling. It wasn’t an opposition MP or hot-shot reporter but Jens Wiechers, a data protection consultant from Cologne.Wiechers had the wit to do what the Cummingses of this world hate above all else: check. He found that, for all his inflated reputation, Cummings is nothing more than a sneaky little cheat. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 17:00:49 GMT)

Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson have wrecked something precious | Jonathan Freedland
Their actions may damage the Tories’ political prospects, but the real victim is the British people’s trust in those in chargeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageLook around, survey the rubble and consider what damage has been done these last seven days. The government, the prime minister and the man who gives both their instructions have all degraded themselves. In the process, they have destroyed something that mattered more than any of them – something unspoken but precious.Start with the man who wrought this ruin. Dominic Cummings has ruled chiefly by fear, making Downing Street his personal “court”, according to one former minister. His power to intimidate derived from his status as the electorate whisperer, a man uniquely able to hear the vox populi, his brain tuned to the wavelength of the great British public when everyone in the SW1 bubble was stuck on the wrong frequency. Of course, that Benedict Cumberbatch TV depiction only added to his lustre: politicians wilt before one of their own who acquires celebrity. For proof, look no further than the rise of Boris Johnson. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 16:09:37 GMT)

The numbers are in, and Johnson's government really is world-beating | Marina Hyde
It’s not just Cummings. From laughing Hancock to cheery Sunak, they all want to style out this whole 60,000 dead thingCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageI read this week that Boris Johnson has been given permission by the Queen to exercise in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. That’s nice. Can she give him permission to act like a prime minister for more than an hour a week? He could start small, then gradually build up his prime-ministering distance, so that by the time of the next election he’s doing a whole day a week. Maybe there’s an app for it. Couch To PM.In the meantime, we’ve all seen some shameless moves by Johnson over the past few days, but let’s open a sub-category for Thursday night’s Downing Street briefing. If you missed this How Not To video, it featured the prime minister inserting himself between some perfectly reasonable questions and the scientists Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty, the government’s chief scientific adviser and England’s chief medical officer respectively, with Johnson acting for all the world like he’d take a bullet for them. Do me a favour. He wouldn’t even take a NutriBullet for them. He wouldn’t even read a bullet point written BY them. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 15:19:17 GMT)

Covid-19 has gifted us a chance to end gender-based violence. We must take it
If the world can unite to beat coronavirus, it should apply the same energy to rooting out abuseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe pandemic is gifting us an unprecedented opportunity to take innovative action and comprehensively confront the scourge of violence against women.We have a unique window in which, as a human family, we are able to boldly address the social ills Covid-19 is unearthing, and redesign and rebuild our social fabric. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 08:00:38 GMT)

Are you reuniting with family or friends as lockdown eases?
As lockdown restrictions ease, we’d like to hear about your reunionsAre you reuniting with family or friends, if so, we’d like to hear from you. Groups of up to six people will be able to meet outdoors in England, from Monday, and for many this will be the first occasion that family and friends can be reunited, after ten weeks in lockdown. People will be allowed to congregate in public spaces or private gardens as long as they maintain physical distancing. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 11:22:00 GMT)

Watch Anansi the Spider Re-Spun, episode one – video
The Guardian and the Unicorn theatre present a fun series of 15-minute performances, created in lockdown, for children aged three to eight. Brother Anansi and Brother Snake is available from 11am on 30 May until 8pm on 20 June Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 15:53:49 GMT)

A comic for Covid-19: the tale of a plague-hit Derbyshire village
Nick Burton’s Our Plague Year draws eerie parallels between Eyam in 1665-66 and today – complete with self-sacrifice, selfish second-homers and confusing public messages‘Know what’s been bothering me since the lockdown? Nobody trusts nobody no more,” says a long-haired young man, building a wall (or perhaps a tomb). “Everybody’s like, ‘Don’t come near me bro, you might have the infection.’” But this isn’t lockdown Britain – nor indeed lockdown anywhere in 2020. It’s the Derbyshire village of Eyam during the 1665-6 plague outbreak, as imagined by artist Nick Burton in the exquisitely doomy new comic strip Our Plague Year.Burton has a flair for the bittersweet. The two-page comic Lily that he showed in the Manchester Open Exhibition at Home last year was a romance between a bicycle and the woman who first rode it. Recalling Lily, Bren O’Callaghan, the curator of Home, contacted Burton in March asking if he might consider producing a comic “addressing some of the themes that were prevalent in our society at the moment”. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 14:10:00 GMT)

'Hero bikes': how free bicycles are transforming the lives of Scotland's key workers
The Bike Station, a Scottish bicycle recycling charity, is offering free bikes to NHS staff and other key workers during the coronanvirus crisis. Photographs by Murdo MacLeodCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA chance to clear the head after a stressful day; a safe and speedy means of travel in these anxious times; the opportunity to explore a longer-term lifestyle change: bicycles mean many different things to the frontline workers in Edinburgh and Perth who have taken delivery of hundreds of so-called hero bikes. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 07:06:24 GMT)

Hong Kong officials lash out at Trump plan to strip city of special status
Criticism follows the US president accusing Beijing of breaking its word over Hong Kong for imposing national security lawsSenior Hong Kong government officials have criticised moves by Donald Trump to strip the city of its special status in a bid to punish China for imposing national security laws on the global financial hub.Speaking hours after Trump said the city no longer warranted economic privileges and some officials could face sanctions, security minister John Lee told reporters on Saturday that Hong Kong’s government could not be threatened and would push ahead with the new laws.  Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 06:16:30 GMT)

Call for inquiry into why senior Tory helped donor avoid £40m tax
Cabinet Office asked to look into Robert Jenrick’s unlawful approval of property projectLabour has urged the Cabinet Office to investigate why the housing secretary intervened in a controversial London planning decision that could have saved a Conservative party donor tens of millions of pounds.Robert Jenrick, the housing, communities and local government secretary, knew that the former media tycoon Richard Desmond had only 24 hours to have an East End property development approved before hefty community charges were imposed on the billionaire’s project. The imposition of Tower Hamlets council’s community infrastructure levy (CIL) would have cost Desmond at least £40m. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 08:36:22 GMT)

Taylor Swift accuses Trump of 'stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism'
The pop star has recently become more outspoken on politics, speaking of her disillusionment with America in a 2019 interviewTaylor Swift has accused Donald Trump of “stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism” after tweets sent by the president appeared to threaten violence against protesters in Minnesota.The singer weighed in on Trump’s response to the volatile demonstrations in Minneapolis this week, where anger has anger erupted over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 03:28:30 GMT)

Police issue fresh appeal over death of man at Kent castle
Officers investigate possible altercation between Charlie Hilder and two teenagersPolice have issued a fresh appeal for witnesses after a “dreadful incident” in which a man died in the grounds of a Kent castle.Charlie Hilder, 66, from Essex, died at Lullingstone castle on Thursday afternoon, after emergency services were called to the scene. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:14:34 GMT)

England to limit students going to Wales, Scotland and N Ireland
Devolved nations angry at policy to introduce cap on undergraduate numbersThe government in Westminster will limit the number of students from England who can go to university in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland next year, leading to accusations that it is “trampling on devolution”.As part of its plans to cap the number of undergraduates that universities in England can teach in 2020-21, the Department for Education (DfE) is also to announce on Monday that it will extend the cap to include English students applying to higher education outside England. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 07:00:36 GMT)

Trump wants America looking at the stars as he drags it through the gutter
The president is due to attend the rescheduled launch of a manned SpaceX rocket – a welcome diversion from the coronavirus crisisMaking America great again just wasn’t enough. “President Trump is making space great again,” the Republican National Committee declared this week.Donald Trump returns to Cape Canaveral in Florida on Saturday to witness the rescheduled launch of a SpaceX rocket carrying Nasa astronauts that was delayed by weather three days earlier. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:00:40 GMT)

Thirteen people charged in France over Essex lorry deaths
Group of mainly French and Vietnamese nationals accused of organising migrants’ journey from AsiaThirteen suspects arrested by French police over the deaths of 39 Vietnamese people found in a refrigerated lorry in Essex have been charged with people trafficking and manslaughter, a judicial source has said.Six of the group – mainly Vietnamese and French nationals – were taken into custody on Tuesday in the Paris region, while the alleged key figure in the ring of smugglers was caught in Germany. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:08:58 GMT)

Barrow journalist hounded out of Cumbria for reporting court case
Amid a storm of rumours about grooming gangs, Amy Fenton receives scores of threats It was 11pm on Sunday when Amy Fenton realised she needed to leave Barrow-in-Furness – and fast. She woke up her five-year-old, grabbed a few toys and bundled her in the car to flee the Cumbria town she has called home for the last 12 years. A police officer had called to say they had assessed dozens of threats made against her over the previous few days and thought there was now a credible risk to not just her life but her child’s too.As chief reporter for the Mail, Barrow’s daily newspaper, Fenton, 35, had made a few enemies over the years. People would usually rather she wasn’t sitting on the press bench when they were found guilty of drink driving or beating their wives. She became hardened to the abuse, even when a local man, Leroy McCarthy, was jailed for 20 weeks in February for threatening to rape her, after she wrote about the Muslim convert’s terrorism conviction for threatening to blow up Furness general hospital. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 13:05:06 GMT)

London doesn't always know best: how the north is choosing its own pace out of lockdown
Angered by Dominic Cummings, and exasperated by diktats on school openings, councils are asserting themselves after being bypassed and ignoredCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn exhausting and anxious times, a text message last week brought Emma Parker a welcome moment of light relief. “A colleague sent me an ad for the Barnard Castle Eye Test beer, the one that BrewDog has brought out,” says the Durham-based teacher. “I had a bit of a giggle at that, I have to admit. I tried to buy some, but the demand was so great the website kept crashing.”The now infamous 60-mile round trip by Dominic Cummings to one of the north-east’s best-known tourist spots has entered political folklore. Cummings’ explanation – that the visit to Barnard Castle, on which he was accompanied by his wife and child, was undertaken to test his eyesight – has launched countless internet memes. But as Parker, a district organiser for the National Education Union (NEU), points out, the danger is that people may come to see the joke as having been at their expense, drawing their own conclusions. “I have a 14-year-old son who is autistic,” she says. “His grandparents are a vital part of his life and routines, but he hasn’t seen them for months. It was my son’s birthday last week, and, for the first time in his life, he wasn’t able to spend it with them. He had to accept the rules of lockdown. But what Cummings did undermined the basis of the discipline we need to keep up. You could see it on the beaches round here on bank holiday weekend, after the story came out. A lot more people were just thinking: ‘We’re going to get on with living.’” Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:30:48 GMT)

Hilary Mantel: 'Thomas Cromwell would have locked us down for longer'
Wolf Hall author tells online Hay festival that ‘the Tudors were very good at quarantine’Thomas Cromwell, who lost family members to “sweating sickness” as the disease spread during his years in King Henry VIII’s court, would have enforced the UK lockdown for longer than the current government, according to Hilary Mantel.Speaking at the Hay literary festival, which is entirely online this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Wolf Hall author said the Tudors “were very good at quarantine in those days. They took it very seriously. I think he would have locked us down for a bit longer”. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:00:13 GMT)

Could nearly half of those with Covid-19 have no idea they are infected?
As studies confirm many infected people show no symptoms, contact tracing and face masks assume even greater importance Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageWhen Noopur Raje’s husband fell critically ill with Covid-19 in mid-March, she did not suspect that she too was infected with the virus.Raje, an oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, had been caring for her sick husband for a week before driving him to an emergency centre with a persistently high fever. But after she herself had a diagnostic PCR test – which looks for traces of the Sars-CoV-2 virus DNA in saliva – she was astounded to find that the result was positive. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 14:00:45 GMT)

Cabin fever: why people are going wild for custom garden rooms
A colourful, cosy cabin at the end of the garden is a perfect way to get some more space – or getaway from it allWhen Virginia Woolf extolled the virtues of having “a room of one’s own” she might have been referring to a cabin in the garden. For anyone who’s had to work from home recently, and is in possession of a patch of outside, a garden getaway where you can labour, undisturbed by cats padding across keyboards or the tug of a toddler’s hand during a conference call, has taken on a new appeal.But a garden room needn’t just be for work. Thanks to wireless technology and efficient insulation, today’s 21st-century cabins are multi-tasking boltholes. In need of a meditation space, a studio, a guest room or cocktail lounge? The cabin can accommodate every whim. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:00:46 GMT)

Rose Byrne: ‘You understand why feminists are furious – we’re still talking about this?’
For the Bridesmaids star, playing Gloria Steinem in her 1970s battle for women’s rights has been a reminder that the same arguments are raging todayA few days before New York locked down and Broadway closed indefinitely, Rose Byrne was on stage in Brooklyn, doing Medea. It was a sold-out run, co-starring her husband, Bobby Cannavale, in an updated version of the Euripides classic. Already, in that first week of March, people were starting to not show up, and those who did were in an odd mood. “There was something subdued about the audience,” says Byrne. “I mean, it’s Medea – and not Tyler Perry’s version – so it’s not full of laughs.” Still, she says, “the last week was strange. You could feel a tension.” The show closed on 8 March, one of the few in the city to finish its run. Four days later, the theatres went dark.Since then, the 40-year-old actor, along with Cannavale and their two kids, both under five, have been in their home in Brooklyn. Byrne peers into the camera from a dimly lit room in her house, hair tied up in a wrap that conceals what she says is the crash in personal grooming. There is, in these times, nothing so endearing to other New Yorkers as the New Yorker of means who, at the first sign of the pandemic, didn’t clear off to their house in the country. “We’ve taken some weekend trips here and there,” says Byrne, “but otherwise we’re holding tight and waiting to see… ” She trails off. The inertia of lockdown descends. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:00:41 GMT)

On my radar: Tim Burgess's cultural highlights
The Charlatans singer on lightsaber exercise routines with his son, getting Prefab Sprout on his Twitter listening party and Louis Theroux’s podcastTim Burgess was born in Salford in 1967, and joined the Charlatans in 1988. Since their first top 10 single in 1990, The Only One I Know, the group has become one of Britain’s most enduring bands. Burgess also has a solo career and his new album, I Love The New Sky, is out now. Since lockdown, his Twitter listening parties in which people play albums together and comment online, have been a huge internet hit. He lives in Norfolk with his partner, Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor, and their son. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 14:00:45 GMT)

Eve Myles: ‘The police caught me red-handed with a pellet gun'
The actor on her camper van, Johnny Cash and embarrassing auditionsBorn in Wales, Myles, 41, has had parts in Doctor Who, Torchwood and Broadchurch, and stars in Keeping Faith which returns for a third series next year. Her new thriller, We Hunt Together, airs on UKTV’s Alibi, available via Sky. She is married to her Keeping Faith costar Bradley Freegard, has two daughters and lives in Cardiff.When were you happiest?When I had my gall bladder out last year; I had gall stones and was in agony for four years. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 08:30:38 GMT)

'Things fall apart': the apocalyptic appeal of WB Yeats's The Second Coming
Written 100 years ago, Yeats’s poem has been absorbed into the cultural bloodstream from Chinua Achebe to The Sopranos, Joan Didion to Gordon Gecko. Why is it such a touchstone in times of chaos?In April 1936, three years before his death, WB Yeats received a letter from the writer and activist Ethel Mannin. The 70-year-old Yeats was a Nobel prize-winning poet of immense stature and influence, not to mention Mannin’s former lover, and she asked him to join a campaign to free a German pacifist incarcerated by the Nazis. Yeats responded instead with a reading recommendation: “If you have my poems by you, look up a poem called ‘The Second Coming’,” he wrote. “It was written some sixteen or seventeen years ago & foretold what is happening. I have written of the same thing again & again since. This will seem little to you with your strong practical sense for it takes fifty years for a poet’s weapons to influence the issue.”Yeats was justified in taking the long view. Written in 1919 and published in 1920, “The Second Coming” has become perhaps the most plundered poem in the English language. At 164 words, it is short and memorable enough to be famous in toto but it has also been disassembled into its constituent parts by books, albums, movies, TV shows, comic books, computer games, political speeches and newspaper editorials. While many poems in Yeats’s corpus have contributed indelible lines to the storehouse of the cultural imagination (“no country for old men”; “the foul rag and bone shop of the heart”), “The Second Coming” consists of almost nothing but such lines. Someone reading it for the first time in 2020 might resemble the apocryphal theatregoer who complained that Hamlet was nothing but a bunch of quotations strung together. Whether or not it is Yeats’s greatest poem, it is by far his most useful. As Auden wrote in “In Memory of WB Yeats” (1939), “The words of a dead man / Are modified in the guts of the living.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:00:41 GMT)

Hong Kong: the end of one country, two systems?
Protesters have take to the streets again, this time over a national security law that is set to be imposed by Beijing. Verna Yu and Lily Kuo look at how the standoff compares with those of Hong Kong’s recent historyChina’s parliament has rubber-stamped a controversial national security law that is expected to be imposed on Hong Kong. The move follows a year of violent protests in Hong Kong and is unprecedented in its scope since the territory was handed over to China from the UK in 1997. Pro-democracy demonstrators fear the legislation will bring the semi-autonomous territory further under Beijing’s control.The journalist Verna Yu has been reporting for the Guardian in Hong Kong and describes to Rachel Humphreys the shock and despondency of Hongkongers as the new laws were announced a week ago. Lily Kuo, the Guardian’s Beijing bureau chief, looks at why China has decided to press ahead with this legislation – just as the Chinese government is desperate to recover from the coronavirus crisis and the international community is occupied with its own battle with the virus. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 02:00:47 GMT)

The scandal of Covid-19 in care homes
Why did so many people die in care homes? That may be the most urgent question of the likely public inquiry into the UK’s Covid-19 response. Rob Booth, the Guardian’s social affairs correspondent, on the government failures that led to thousands of care home deathsWhy did so many people die in care homes? That may be the most urgent question of the likely public inquiry into the UK’s Covid-19 response. So far, 16,000 residents of care and nursing homes have died compared with fewer than 3,000 in Germany and none in Hong Kong. The Guardian’s social affairs correspondent, Rob Booth, tells Anushka Asthana that despite the health secretary, Matt Hancock, claiming the government “threw a protective ring” around care homes, government failures have led to thousands of deaths. Continue reading...
(Thu, 28 May 2020 02:00:18 GMT)

Brexit: Is the UK headed for a no deal?
For the past few months UK and EU negotiators have been locked in talks trying to thrash out a trade deal before 1 January. But after the chief negotiators, Michel Barnier and David Frost, exchanged testy letters last week, the talks risk reaching a stalemate. Is the UK headed for a no-deal Brexit?The European Union and the British government are due to resume talks next week, the final round scheduled before a “high-level conference” in June to assess progress before the end-of-year deadline. After the chief negotiators, Michel Barnier and David Frost, exchanged testy letters last week, a senior EU official said there was a risk of stalemate if the EU did not see progress on its vital interests, including how to ensure fair competition, or a level playing field, between British and EU companies under a free-trade deal.Guardian Brexit correspondent Lisa O’Carroll and Brussels correspondent Jennifer Rankin tell Rachel Humphreys about the latest round of talks and examine whether Britain is headed for a no deal at the end of the year. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 May 2020 02:00:17 GMT)

Bayern Munich 5-0 Fortuna Düsseldorf: Bundesliga – as it happened
Bayern went ten points clear at the top after routing sorry Fortuna 7.20pm BST Tick, tock, tick, tock ... and that’s your lot. No injury time to speak of, the referee putting Fortuna out of their misery. Bayern go ten points clear at the top. The best you can say about Fortuna is that the scoreline could have been a whole lot worse, and they don’t have to play the champions-elect again this season as they battle against relegation. Thanks for reading this MBM; stay healthy, everyone. Related: Werder Bremen beat Schalke to raise hopes of Bundesliga survival Related: Wolfsburg thrash Cologne as Frauen Bundesliga bucks trend with restart 7.18pm BST 90 min: A yellow card for Suttner, who had been yapping away at the referee. There will be four added seconds. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 18:23:12 GMT)

Premier League clubs told depleted squads will not delay restart
More strains and short-term muscle injuries expected Clubs raised issue after spike in Bundesliga lay-offsPremier League clubs have been told games will still go ahead once the season restarts even if they are down to only 15 fit players, it has emerged.West Ham vice-chair Karren Brady has revealed the subject of depleted squads was discussed in Thursday’s conference call between clubs after Bundesliga teams reported a spike in strains and short-term muscle injuries following the resumption of football in Germany. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 14:23:44 GMT)

England's long list leaves those who failed to make cut beyond consolation | Vic Marks
Any player not included in the 55-man group named by selectors has little hope of an international futureThere must be some grumpy English professional cricketers out there this weekend. Let me try to bowdlerise their thoughts: “Our wise selectors have plucked out 55 players for training ahead of the proposed international matches this summer and I do not appear to be among them. Fifty-five represents no fewer than five cricket teams so this is a source of some disappointment since I thought that I might still have the chance of the ultimate honour, playing for my country, in the foreseeable future. This now seems a rather distant dream. So it’s back to the nets, whenever that is allowed for the journeymen dirt-trackers. Que sera, sera.” The unbowdlerised version probably would not take so long and it might sully your morning.Most of the names on the longest list ever produced by the England selectors are predictable and by and large they come from the obvious sources. No one employed by Derbyshire, Glamorgan, Leicestershire and (promoted) Northamptonshire has been selected; Surrey provide the most players with nine (they signed Reece Topley in the winter); there are seven from Lancashire and six from Yorkshire and Somerset. One oddity is that Essex, the county champions in two of the past three years, have just one player selected, Dan Lawrence. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:37:39 GMT)

Vincent Kompany turns down assistant coach job at Manchester City
Anderlecht player-coach will see out contract in BelgiumDoor likely to remain open for him at the EtihadVincent Kompany has turned down an opportunity to become Pep Guardiola’s coaching assistant at Manchester City in favour of continuing in his player-coaching role at Anderlecht.The vacancy at City arose when Mikel Arteta left to join Arsenal, who are due to play at the Etihad when the Premier League is planned to return on 17 June. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:40:00 GMT)

Claire Williams confident F1 team will continue despite financial trouble
Deputy team principal hopeful of seeing out season‘We will find the investment we need’The Williams team and their name will continue in Formula One, the deputy team principal, Claire Williams, has said. She has expressed optimism for the future despite the team announcing on Friday they were considering putting the operation up for sale and seeking investment because of financial pressure.The team suffered a £13m loss last year and are facing a further shortfall because of the coronavirus crisis and Williams are now appraising potential offers to buy the team or of investment, and have already entered discussions with some interested parties. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:58:03 GMT)

Premiership final could clash with Six Nations as restart faces further delay
Date for resumption set to be pushed back to AugustPlay-off final in October clashes with Six Nations planThe restart date for the Premiership looks set to be pushed back from late July until August after Gloucester said they did not expect clubs to return to training for another month. That would mean staging the play-off final in October and a clash with plans to play out the postponed Six Nations.The Premiership had been aiming to resume on 27 June and play the season to its conclusion before, after a short break, starting the 2020-21 campaign on time. That will not happen and the end of July is looking less likely, with medical experts recommending players train for at least six weeks before a resumption. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 13:47:06 GMT)

Pop stars and footballers aren't half as good without one ingredient: you
Lockdown has shown that performances depend as much on the audience as the playersCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe longer it goes on, the more lockdown confirms the supreme importance of the audience. Premier League football is to return, in empty stadiums, with artificial crowd noise for television audiences. Clearly, the “canned” crowd noise is an attempt to get around the fact that a spectator sport sans spectators could severely lack atmosphere. Nor is this problem confined to sport. Look at musicians performing at those lockdown “concerts”. Once you get past gawping at bookcases and patio heaters – the sheer novelty of the enforced domestic intimacy – it starts to feel like a series of lacklustre soundchecks in the soft furnishings department of John Lewis. However much noise is being made, it’s too flat, one-sided, empty. As popular culture fights to survive, something important is missing, and that something is the audience.This much is obvious, and has become one of the recurring motifs of lockdown: art, music, film, sport, literature, every aspect of culture is horribly isolated and struggling, and not just because of the hideous economic impact. Even politics is affected. Look at Jacob Rees-Mogg frantically trying to get MPs back into the Commons – not least, one suspects, because, without all the braying and guffawing (what passes for crowd-noise in Westminster), Boris Johnson is horribly exposed for what he is: an overgrown schoolboy who’s spent a lifetime not being arsed to do his homework. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:30:48 GMT)

Twitter taking on Trump's lies? About time too | John Naughton
The platform’s moves to counter the president’s disinformation may be too little, too late, but it’s somethingIn addition to washing your hands while singing the first two verses of The Internationale, it might be a good time also to clean out your Twitter feed. According to a recent report of a research study by Carnegie Mellon University’s Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organizational Systems, about 45% of the false narratives about Covid-19 on Twitter are sent by bots.The study examined more than 100 false Covid narratives (including the 5G conspiracy theories) pushed in over 200m tweets since January. If you’re a reader of this newspaper, the likelihood is that you never saw any of these. But that’s because you are – like me – cheerfully encased in your own filter bubble. I write with feeling on this matter, because on the morning after the Brexit referendum I went through the list of about 800 people whom I follow on Twitter, and I could not locate a single one who seemed to have been in favour of Brexit in the run-up to the vote. The shock felt by them after the vote was palpable. But it was also a salutary reminder that anyone who uses social media lives in a digital echo chamber. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:00:46 GMT)

Paul Mescal: normal, yes, but swelteringly, blisteringly hot | Rebecca Nicholson
The actor has been seen out and about in shorts and shades: what’s not to like?Fame is a peculiar beast, coveted by those who do not have it, and frankly pretty miserable for those who do, judging by the state of almost anyone who has been given more than a brief hint. The stars of Normal People became overnight-famous while much of the world was in some form of lockdown, leaving them to emerge as wide-eyed, wobbly-legged baby celebrities, holed up at home like (almost) everyone else. It’s little wonder that in this climate of bottled-up tension, and having been anointed by a particularly horny TV show, Paul Mescal has been on the receiving end of the largest amount of public lust I’ve seen since Fleabag introduced the Hot Priest. (Kneel? It’s Paul, actually, is what I would say, if I were a stand-up comedian in the 1970s.)Last week, the salivation spectacle reached a tipping point with a paparazzi shot of Mescal in shorts and a tracksuit jacket, apparently on the way back from the corner shop, holding two cans of pink gin and tonic, a bottle of Crabbie’s cider and a packet of prawn cocktail crisps. Mescal is 24; I, too, would have considered this to be a reasonable stab at a balanced diet when I was his age. For a nation unable to go to the pub or the cinema, or play sports, or watch them, this turned out to be the entertainment highlight of the week. “This Is Paul Mescal’s Summer, We’re Just Watching It” ran the headline on a Vice piece; Buzzfeed went for “Paul Mescal Stepped Out In Shorts To Buy Drinks To-Go And People Are Thirsting So Hard”; Elle offered: “Why Is This Hot Picture Of Hot Paul Mescal So Hot?” I’m no expert, but I think they kind of like him. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:30:46 GMT)

If violence isn't the way to end racism in America, then what is? | Arwa Mahdawi
The uncomfortable truth is that, sometimes, violence is the only answer leftSign up for the Week in Patriarchy, a newsletter​ on feminism and sexism sent every Saturday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 13:00:43 GMT)

Why I quit working on Boris Johnson's ‘world-beating' test-and-tracing system | Anonymous
We’re not highly trained – we’ve been sitting around doing nothing. This programme is not fit to bring Britain out of lockdownBoris Johnson tells Britain that our test-and-tracing system will be “world-beating”. Here’s what I’ve witnessed from the inside.In March, I was furloughed by my employer. The financial impact was huge, and I decided to look for some temporary work to help with the bills. I saw an online ad for a temporary “customer service adviser”, which said: “You must have your own computer and high-speed internet to download our software and communicate with our customers … Don’t let lockdown stop you getting your dream job.”I have some experience in customer service, so I applied, and was then telephoned by someone who asked me some basic questions about customer service. He said my answers were great, and proceeded to tell me the role was working on the government’s new track-and-trace programme. They would like to offer me a role, and I could start training the following Sunday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 05:00:34 GMT)

Beijing has undermined the image of a stable Hong Kong | Isabel Hardman
China has effectively torn up the treaty it signed with the Thatcher government – yet the UK’s response is feeble To understand how wide Beijing now casts its security net in Hong Kong, consider the case of Martin Lee. Now in his 80s, Lee is a distinguished barrister, a politician and a lifelong defender of civil liberties. He has never committed an act of violence or advocated that others do so.Last month, in an early sign of what was coming, Lee was arrested at his home. Fourteen other prominent Hong Kong citizens were taken into custody that day and charged with taking part in illegal demonstrations. He has pointed out that he was already facing 14 similar charges in mainland China, and had the extradition law that triggered last year’s protests in Hong Kong been adopted he could have been sent for trial in China under a system that not even the Chinese Communist party’s (CCP) most generous supporters could describe as adequate. The CCP regards rule of law and separation of powers as threats to its power. Law, for the party, is one instrument among many that can be used to eliminate opponents – who can be anyone from dissenting public intellectuals to prominent businessmen.  Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 11:00:41 GMT)

How the killing of George Floyd has upended America – video report
Cities across the US have been convulsed by protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who died after being arrested and handcuffed by a white officer who then kneeled on his neck for several minutes. Floyd pleaded that he 'could not breathe' and among his last words were 'don't kill me'.The incident has caused a reckoning over race and police killings of black Americans - and demonstrations have spread from Minnesota to other parts of the US including New York, Denver, Chicago and OaklandAn athlete, a father, a 'beautiful spirit': George Floyd in his friends' wordsGeorge Floyd killing – follow live updates Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 21:31:48 GMT)

How I help coronavirus patients to walk again – video
David McWilliams is a consultant physiotherapist helping ICU patients recover from Covid-19 – from when they first open their eyes since arriving to their first steps. His team support patients at Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital, which has one of the largest critical care units in Europe and recently was treating more than 200 Covid-19 patients at one timeCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Continue reading...
(Thu, 28 May 2020 13:31:17 GMT)

Virtually anywhere but Westminster: 'We've found a new kind of sincerity'
In lockdown, our series is using footage sent in from around the UK to tell the story of the world outside the political bubbleThe day after the 2019 general election we were on an early-morning train from Stoke-on-Trent to London, feeling as if a long and messy chapter of recent British history had at last come to some kind of full stop. Brexit was a certainty, the Conservatives had won a big parliamentary majority, and the Labour party was more estranged than ever from its old heartlands. Having covered a country in mounting political ferment since 2010, we thought we could at least put Anywhere but Westminster on pause. Continue reading...
(Sat, 23 May 2020 11:00:51 GMT)

How Covid-19 contact tracing can help beat the pandemic
If the UK government wants to start easing the country's lockdown restrictions, it needs to get contact tracing right. But what does that mean? What would successful contact tracing even look like? Josh Toussaint-Strauss tries to find out with a little help from Christophe Fraser, an Oxford professor and infectious disease epidemiologist, and Alex Hern, the Guardian's UK technology editor Continue reading...
(Fri, 08 May 2020 08:04:34 GMT)

Battling through a deadly pandemic: Owen Jones meets the coronavirus key workers
For some, lockdown has felt like an eternity, but a lot of key workers have continued to go to work through unprecedented circumstances. Owen Jones asked four workers – a postal worker, a care home worker, a cycle courier and a security guard – to give insight to their working life during the pandemic. He questions if enough has been done to keep them safe from Covid-19  Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 May 2020 10:03:49 GMT)

Why has Brazil been so badly hit by coronavirus? – video explainer
The spread of coronavirus has been catastrophic in Brazil, with the country now ranking second for infections behind only the US. The infection rate has been growing rapidly in Latin America and on Friday, Brazil's health ministry reported 20,803 new cases, bringing the total to 330,890 confirmed cases.From a sceptical president to a healthcare system on the verge of collapse, the Guardian's Tom Phillips explains the factors that have made Brazil a hotspot for the virusBrazil overtakes UK as country with third-highest coronavirus casesHospitals in Latin America buckling under coronavirus strain Continue reading...
(Fri, 22 May 2020 16:17:50 GMT)

How ministers have scrambled to defend Dominic Cummings – video
Since allegations first emerged that Dominic Cummings had flouted lockdown measures while ill with coronavirus symptoms, the prime minister and members of the cabinet have been floundering to defend the adviser from accusations that he broke government guidance he helped devise.Cummings has admitted to, but not apologised for, travelling to his family's home in Durham on two occasions between  27 March and 13 April, as well as making a separate trip to Barnard Castle, which he said was to test his eyesightTory anger at Dominic Cummings grows as dozens of MPs defy Boris JohnsonCatching the travel bug: Cummings's take on virus puts Shapps in hot seat Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 May 2020 19:26:02 GMT)

Coronavirus excess deaths: UK has one of highest levels in Europe
Data since start of Covid-19 crisis shows almost 60,000 additional deaths, a fifth higher than usualCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain’s excess death toll at the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic was the highest among 11 countries analysed by the Guardian.The UK had the biggest spike among countries including Sweden, France, Germany and Spain. At its peak the UK death toll was more than double that of an average week, at 109%, compared with Spain’s peak in week 14 where the death toll was double the average at 100%. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 12:04:57 GMT)

UK spring the sunniest since records began, says Met Office
Country also set for driest May for 124 years, with farmers warning of serious impactThe UK has recorded the sunniest spring since records began in 1929, the Met Office has said.It is also set to be the driest May for 124 years, with official figures on rainfall to be published on Monday. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 17:09:07 GMT)

June Brexit summit on cards as talks head for deadlock
PM and commission president likely to meet with progress unlikely in talks next weekBrexit talks are heading towards deadlock as senior advisers in Brussels and London concede a breakthrough in the final round of talks next week is unlikely.It means a high-level political summit between Boris Johnson and the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, in the middle of June is now almost certain as talks among officials on a trade deal and the future relationship hit the buffers. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 15:00:26 GMT)

BBC local news programming in balance due to budget cuts
Award-winning Inside Out investigations and regional political debates under threat Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe BBC is looking to cut its local news output across England in order to reduce costs, with both the award-winning Inside Out series of investigative programmes and regional political debate shows potentially facing the chop.Inside Out, which broadcasts 11 different local current affairs shows in a primetime slot on BBC One, was due to return in September, but the autumn series has now been cancelled. Bosses accept that the show’s entire future is now in question as part of a review of all regional programming in England. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 14:10:14 GMT)

Man dies at Lullingstone Castle after reports of rocks being thrown
Kent police say victim in his 60s, named locally as Charles Hilder, may have been in altercation ‘with two boys or teenagers’Detectives are investigating the death of a man found dead in the grounds of a medieval castle in Kent after reports of rocks being thrown.Police said officers looked into reports of a disturbance in the grounds of Lullingstone Castle in Eynsford at 5.21pm on Thursday. They found a man in his 60s who was later pronounced dead at the scene. He has been named locally as Charles Hilder. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 12:56:45 GMT)

IOPC launches investigation into alleged police brutality in Birmingham
The inquiry follows six complaints about overuse of force against black men in the city, including the use of stun gunsA police watchdog has launched an inquiry into allegations of racially motivated brutality including the use of stun guns by officers in Birmingham.The use of the weapons is forming part of an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into six allegations of over-use of force by the West Midlands police on black men in the city. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 18:14:30 GMT)

Police smash people-smuggling ring 'linked to Essex lorry deaths'
French and Belgian officers arrest 26 people involved with network running from Vietnam to EuropeFrench and Belgian police believe they have smashed an international people-smuggling network involved in the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants whose bodies were found in a refrigerated trailer in the UK last October.Officers have arrested 26 people in coordinated raids in several locations in the two countries after keeping the gang under surveillance for several months. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 16:35:59 GMT)

Soas to slash budgets and staff as debt crisis worsens in pandemic
Exclusive: fears of takeover after auditors question whether London-based institution can continueSoas survived the end of empire but can it recover this time?Soas University of London is being forced to slash budgets and prepare significant staff cuts after being caught in a financial crisis hastened by the coronavirus pandemic, the Guardian can reveal.Staff say they fear that management is cutting costs to make the college, formerly called the School of Oriental and African Studies, a palatable takeover target for an overseas institution or one of its London rivals, as the latest financial figures show that it to be carrying multi-million pound deficits and risks running out of cash next year. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 13:48:07 GMT)

Revolutionary Guards block clemency for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Iranian regime is inflicting ‘psychological torture’ on his wife, says Richard Ratcliffe, as she is again denied freedomThe dual British-Iranian national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe is the victim of “psychological torture” at the hands of the Iranian regime, her husband has said, as her hopes of being granted clemency were dashed for the second time in a week.The 41-year-old mother had been left “deflated”, “unsettled” and desperate to see her five-year-old daughter, Gabriella, in England, Richard Ratcliffe said. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 17:00:48 GMT)

Trump has given record proportion of ambassador jobs to his own backers
President has used ambassadorships to reward rich, inexperienced supporters, figures show, including hotelier and designerDonald Trump has gifted a record proportion of ambassadorial posts to political appointees, rewarding wealthy supporters with minimal experience at the expense of career diplomats, according to the latest figures.About 44% of US ambassadors nominated by Trump have been political appointees, compared with a historical average of about 30%, according to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA). That percentage is getting higher. Out of the ambassador nominations so far this year, 57% have gone to political appointees. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 12:00:42 GMT)

Lockdown yields first global sound map of spring dawn chorus
Scientists and artists take advantage of low noise levels to record birdsong around world Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageScientists and artists have used the drop in noise pollution during the coronavirus lockdown to create the first global public sound map of the spring dawn chorus.Throughout May, people around the world have uploaded about 3,000 early morning bird recordings made on their phones to the Dawn Chorus website, where they are being shared to help conservation and to create public art.  Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 08:00:37 GMT)

‘A national crisis’: how the killing of George Floyd is changing US politics
As people protest across the US, Donald Trump and Joe Biden have offered divergent responses that point to a divisive political debate on race relationsRiots in Minneapolis and across the US triggered by video footage showing George Floyd, a black man, killed under the knee of a police officer, has caused a dramatic shift in the national political debate in America and thrust race to the center of the stage.Donald Trump and Joe Biden offered divergent responses that point to an even more divisive political debate on race relations and between Democrats and Republicans playing out in the months ahead. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:00:40 GMT)

Protests rock cities across US as anger over George Floyd's killing spreads
Rallies in Minneapolis, New York, Louisville, Washington, California and beyondPeaceful scenes in day turn volatile in eveningGeorge Floyd killing – follow live updatesThousands of people ignored a curfew in Minneapolis to protest for a fourth night in a row, as anger around police brutality and the death of George Floyd erupted into violence across the US, from New York to California. Related: Trump praises Secret Service and threatens protesters with 'vicious dogs' Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:10:04 GMT)

'A summer unlike any other': heatwaves and Covid-19 are a deadly combination
As underserved populations face hotter neighborhoods and limited access to air conditioning, the pandemic threatens the malls and libraries where they typically find reliefCoronavirus – live US updatesLive global updatesTemperatures in some California cities this week broke decades-old records. The heatwave that cooked Las Vegas over the past few days brought temperatures over 100F. And in Phoenix, highs this weekend are expected to approach or exceed 110F. This year is on track to be one of the hottest on record, and public health officials worry that in cities across the US, summer heatwaves will collide with the coronavirus pandemic, with deadly consequences for poor, minority and older populations.  Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 10:00:40 GMT)

Kylie Jenner in row with Forbes over billionaire status
Kardashian family member reacts angrily to magazine’s claim she spun ‘a web of lies’A row has broken out between one of the world’s leading business magazines and the youngest member of reality TV’s most famous family over the value of her cosmetics company.Forbes magazine has accused Kylie Jenner, the youngest half-sister of Kim Kardashian West, of spinning a “web of lies” to inflate the size and success of her business. It claimed her family went to unusual lengths to present its youngest adult member as being richer than she was. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 13:15:57 GMT)

Supreme court rejects California church appeal on coronavirus service limits
Chief Justice John Roberts joins liberals as court splits 5-4Church argued limits on attendance violated first amendmentA divided supreme court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Related: Top Senate Republican urges older conservative judges to retire Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 11:13:32 GMT)

Stuart Evers: 'We either look into the gutter or at the upper classes'
The award-winning novelist on his debt to ‘kitchen-sink’ dramas, why the family is everyone’s first taste of politics, and the paranoia of the nuclear ageStuart Evers’s acclaimed debut collection Ten Stories About Smoking won the London book award in 2011. His new novel The Blind Light is an ambitious fictional account of 60 years in the intertwined lives of two soldiers from very different backgrounds, who meet during national service in 1959 and raise families in the shadow of the nuclear threat.You made your name as a writer of sharp, spare short stories; your novel is 536 pages long. When did you start working on it?I can tell you exactly. Six years, 11 months and five days ago. The idea came when I went to visit a place called Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker with my mum and dad and my wife. It is what was known as a regional seat of government; in the event of a nuclear bomb dropping, the local dignitaries would be rushed to it. It’s now a visitor centre. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 17:00:48 GMT)

Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance to watch online
From live-streams of new plays to classics from the archive, here are some of the top shows online now or coming soon – this page is updated daily Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:52:10 GMT)

Igor Levit to play 20-hour Eric Satie piece as 'silent scream'
German-Russian pianist to tackle ‘Vexations’ to highlight plight of artists hit by lockdownsThe German-Russian pianist Igor Levit will perform a rarely played, 20-hour Eric Satie composition to a global audience on Saturday to highlight the plight of artists around the world who have been silenced by coronavirus lockdowns.Levit, who reached a global audience of tens of thousands during the lockdown with a series of 52 evening concerts broadcast live from his Berlin flat via Twitter, has said the work Vexations by the French composer represents the “silent scream” of musicians around the world. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:28:12 GMT)

The week in radio and podcasts: The Archers – Ambridge in lockdown shock
With the cast now recording at home, something is badly missing. And the lacklustre writing doesn’t helpThe Archers (BBC Radio 4) | BBC SoundsBack in late March, lockdown caught many of us on the hop. The changes to work and life were swift and devastating. Some professions could adapt fairly easily, others couldn’t. Drama is an industry that’s suffered greatly; many great theatres have already had to close down for ever. But audio drama has a few advantages. It’s not TV, it’s not a full theatre production. No need for costumes or cameras, to learn lines or adjust lighting. The audience is still there, stuck at home… Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:00:47 GMT)

Erdem Moralioglu: ‘As a child all I wanted was a Coke and a hot dog’
The designer, 43, on his heritage, twin sister, belief in beauty and why he never cries at filmsTime is very weird at the moment. It’s elastic, but in terms of creativity I am always as much about the here and now as about looking at art and things from the past. I love both.As a child in the suburbs, I tried to avoid anything that was team-related. I had a very brief career, from the age of eight, on a football team, and I tried ice hockey. My father dreamed I might be the first half-Turkish hockey pro. It came to nothing. I spent most of my time drawing and daydreaming. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 13:00:44 GMT)

‘Our staff are like family. They have to be looked after’: how one Japanese restaurant kept things cooking during lockdown
When Paul Elgee closed his family’s restaurant, Myra’s Kaiseki, he felt as if a ‘dark cloud’ was hanging over the business and its staff. But thanks to the furlough scheme and the Small Business Grant Fund he can now plan aheadSpringtime is generally boom time for the hospitality industry. The four-day weekend of Easter, plus Mother’s Day and two bank holidays in May, see many people celebrating with meals out. But this year in March, just as restaurants and bars began to get really busy, Covid-19 took hold.“We were on the crest of a wave,” says Paul Elgee, director of Myra’s Kaiseki, a restaurant in Dorchester. “We were fully booked, and with stock in ready for a big weekend, then we were told we needed to shut. The closure of the restaurant couldn’t have come at a worse time.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 22 May 2020 08:37:51 GMT)

'I call furloughed staff once a week': how one company is coping during the coronavirus crisis
An estimated 1m businesses in the UK have been protected until October through the government’s job retention scheme. Here, Daniel Pillai, CEO of the Welsh solar roofing firm BIPVco, discusses how it has worked for himDaniel Pillai first realised that life was about to change when he arrived at San Francisco airport on a business trip in February. Queuing at passport control, he noticed masked biosecurity staff checking the temperatures of incoming passengers. “I realised this thing [coronavirus] was about to hit us, and it was only a matter of time,” says the CEO and co-founder of BIPVco, a Welsh solar roofing company. “Our business had all sorts of contingency plans, everything from fire to worst-possible scenario. But a health pandemic? That wasn’t even on the radar, especially not for a company of our size.”As at many small businesses across the UK, the Covid-19 pandemic forced BIPVco to reconfigure. The company had been manufacturing solar modules from its Newport factory since 2015, and currently employs 16 people. On 16 March, when the government advised that all non-essential businesses should cease activity to limit contagion, Pillai phoned his staff to tell them not to come to work the next day. At the same time, worries about his business started gnawing away. “We had many concerns: the welfare of our staff, letting customers down, plus the long-term viability of the business given that orders could disappear.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 22 May 2020 08:38:43 GMT)

From gourmet takeaways … to feeding a zoo: how a Scottish pub adapted to lockdown
As the owner of East Lothian gastropub the Mercat Grill, Graham Blaikie has had to adapt his business to survive. Here, he tells Sophie Goddard how he’s keeping not only his pub afloat, but is helping out the people – and animals – around him, too ...For thousands of small business owners, the global pandemic has flung their futures – and those of their staff – into uncertainty. That’s certainly true for Graham Blaikie, and his pub the Mercat Grill in Whitecraig, Scotland. “I’d been watching the news about Covid-19 since December and luckily we’d prepared,” he explains. “Even before we closed, we had contactless hand sanitisers and I was always wiping down handles and menus. I’d also removed items from tables, so there weren’t as many touch points.” But when Boris Johnson’s March announcement saw pubs and restaurants close to the public, the business that had taken Blaikie nine years to build was suddenly forced to adapt for survival.The first step was ensuring customers could still enjoy the food they loved. “Prior to the shutdown, we’d been talking about what our strategy would be – I bought containers and had our takeaway menu prepped, so we were ahead of the game”, he says of being ready for business the next day. “We had a lot of fresh food in the pub, so on the Saturday we started the takeaway system.” But it wasn’t without its problems. “It’s not as easy as you think doing takeaway food, especially restaurant-style. When people order with us they’re having haggis cigars, patties, fish and chips, pepper beef with rice and my mum’s desserts ... that’s six different containers at least. We spent about £2,000 on takeaway boxes initially, that’s a lot of money. But it’s hopefully keeping us going.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 22 May 2020 08:36:00 GMT)

‘Now I have a future’: how furlough helped a paddle-sports business stay afloat
With his business Beyond Adventure having to close its doors due to the coronavirus crisis, Ross Dempster was worried how his team would survive. He explains how the furlough scheme has given him hopeFor some people it can take decades to discover their true passion, but for Ross Dempster, managing director of Beyond Adventure, an outdoor adventure company in Perthshire, Scotland, he knew from the get-go that he wasn’t made for a life clocking up the hours in an office. In fact, it wasn’t long after university that he made the bold decision to switch his career.“I tried to work in an office for a short time,” he says, recalling a stint with his father at an Edinburgh-based financial services company. “I was described as the man who looked the most uncomfortable in a suit.” Continue reading...
(Fri, 22 May 2020 08:37:02 GMT)

Want to stand out on screen? Zoom in on that colossal collar…
From the waist up – which is often all that matters in lockdown Britain – big and bold is best in the fashion stakesA look that brings to mind either William Shakespeare or Harry Hill is not one that immediately suggests sophisticated glamour. But big collars are having a resurgence, this time on women’s dresses, tops and jumpsuits.The current look is less Renaissance bard and more pious puritan, and can be dramatic in scale, reaching the shoulders or even down to the belly button. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 13:05:43 GMT)

The eyes have it: communication and face masks
As more of us wear face masks and rely on eye contact, how will it change the way we relate to each otherA conversation with a girlfriend when I was in Italy a few weeks ago got me thinking about the latest new norm of the post-coronavirus society: enhanced eye contact. She had told me how, standing in the endless queue for the supermarket, wearing her mask, she had caught the eye of a handsome man in another loop of the queue and found herself engaged in a wordless flirtation carried out just with the eyes from a distance. After this, she had taken to piling on extra eyeliner and mascara.“What I am saving in not buying lipstick I am spending on those full-volume mascaras,” she said, laughing. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 16:00:47 GMT)

Trekking the Sabine Hills: in praise of Italy, summer and freedom
The author recalls dawn starts, oven-hot air and the chorus of cicadas that accompanied his walk through the hills north of RomePoggio Mirteto, Cantalupo, Casperia, Vacone, Configni, Stroncone. Hilltop towns in the ancient land of Sabina, calling to each other across parched patchworks of vineyard and cornfield. Woods, orchards, olive groves. You could drive to these places, of course. But my experience is, when you arrive on foot they are different. They are better. And best of all in summer.You’ll need water with you at all times for this adventure. A light backpack with just one change of clothes. Trekking shoes on your feet, poles in your hands, sweat-wicking shirts and shorts and underwear. Plus a broad-brimmed hat, shades and a big tube of sun cream. Then just surrender yourself to the heat and the cicadas. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 08:00:38 GMT)

Lost Stock: 'It's like buying your future self a present'
A scheme to help Bangladeshi garment workers through the lockdown adds spice to fashionCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIt’s not fashion shopping as we know it: shoppers provide details of their age, gender, size and colour preferences, and hand over £39. A few weeks later a box arrives on your doorstep containing at least three items, with full ticket prices adding up to at least £70, that were once destined for stores like Topshop.This is coronavirus crisis fashion shopping. The fashions come direct from the Bangladesh factory where the items were made and the mystery boxes are designed to provide a financial lifeline to the businesses and workers who supply big high street names. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 07:00:36 GMT)

I like the sound of my own voice – but does that make me a narcissist?
Millennials are said to be more narcissistic than any other cohort of society. A self-confessed self-obsessive works out whether that’s a problemI was on the phone to a friend recently, blathering away as usual, when I realised that there was no one on the other end of the line. How long ago had this happened? I checked my phone and discovered, to my horror, that the call had ended almost five minutes ago.In the pub with another friend, not long after this incident, I asked how self-obsessed she thinks I am – a question only self-obsessed people ask, along with our other hobbies: stalking ourselves on social media and planning our own funerals. Without deliberation, she concluded that I was an 8.5 out of 10. “OK…” I reeled, deeply offended. “But I ask about you too, right? I am a good friend?” Quickly, the subject was changed. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 06:00:35 GMT)

Lockdown lifts on car boot sales – but many feel safer trading online
Some organisers question how social distancing, and limitations on touching goods, will work in practiceCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage“People are desperate to shop again and we’re going to be busy,” says Chris, who runs the Thatcham car boot sale and is preparing to reopen next Sunday. “Everyone has had time on their hands to clear things out and there are always people looking for secondhand bargains. We’re going to increase the width of the aisles, operate a one-way system and advise people to wear gloves and a mask.”Outdoor markets and car showrooms will be allowed to reopen in England from tomorrow and car boot organisers across the country have found themselves rushing to get ready in time. But many in the sector are questioning how it will work and have already been finding success online during lockdown.  Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 12:35:43 GMT)

Teachers: how do you feel about primary schools reopening?
We’d like to hear from people about the return to schools, whether to teach or take their children, from MondayPrimary schools will begin their phased reopening to all pupils on Monday after more than two months of general closures, prime minister Boris Johnson has announced.Schools are already open to vulnerable and key worker children, who will gradually be joined by their classmates – though many primary schools will not be open to all eligible pupils right away. Continue reading...
(Mon, 04 May 2020 10:47:36 GMT)

LGBTQ+ community: how have you been affected by the lockdown?
We would like to hear from LGBTQ+ people about their experiences during the pandemicWhile the pandemic lockdown has raised significant concerns for everyone, we want to know whether it has brought additional difficulties for the LGBTQ+ community.Being able to embrace your sexuality or gender identity has a positive impact on wellbeing and resilience. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are more likely to suffer low self-esteem, depression, anxiety and other mental health issues due to discrimination, social isolation, and rejection. Young LGBTQ+ people also comprise almost a quarter of the youth homeless population in Britain. Continue reading...
(Fri, 22 May 2020 07:53:50 GMT)

Share your photos of butterflies in the UK
We want to see your photos of butterflies you have spotted around the country during the sunny weather Due to a combination of warmth and sunshine across the UK, butterflies have been spotted enjoying the good weather.If you have seen any near you, we’d like to see your photos. Continue reading...
(Wed, 27 May 2020 15:51:45 GMT)

What are your experiences of debt during the pandemic?
We’d like to hear from people about how they are managing existing debts during the coronavirus pandemicSince the lockdown thousands of people have found themselves grappling with significantly reduced finances. Following widespread redundancies, the number claiming unemployment benefits in the UK soared to more than 2.1 million last month. Many other households have seen big drops in their income due to being furloughed or losing contract or part-time work.We’d like to hear about your experience of debt during the pandemic. Have you been able to manage existing debts? Have you fallen into debt due to the loss of your income or another member of your household’s income? Continue reading...
(Tue, 26 May 2020 11:46:26 GMT)

'You wake and you’re a complete wreck’: Harry Dunn's parents on their long fight for justice
The teenager died last August after being hit by a car whose driver has yet to face charges. His parents won’t stop asking why It is November 2019, 10 weeks since 19-year-old Harry Dunn was killed, and his four parents are distraught. Charlotte, Tim, Bruce and Tracey say that some mornings they can barely get out of bed, never mind begin to mourn. “You wake up and you’re just a complete wreck, and nothing you can do is processed without thinking of Harry,” says his mother, Charlotte Charles.She and Harry’s father, Tim, split up when he was 10 months old; six months later, Tim was with Tracey, and Charlotte was with Bruce. Both couples were parents to Harry and his twin brother Niall, and the families have always been close. “The last three or four days have been the worst for me,” Tim says. “I’m struggling. Every time I see his face I start crying.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 08:00:38 GMT)

From evasion to evisceration: how the Cummings lockdown story unfolded
As thousands died, the story of the PM’s top adviser waxed and waned in unpredictable ways. Its impact is as yet unknownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe first inkling of the story that shook Downing Street to its core came at the beginning of April.It was the first Sunday of the month, a couple of hours before the Queen’s stirring promise to the nation that, however hard it was to endure separation from our loved ones, “we will meet again”. Boris Johnson was seriously ill, and that evening it would be announced that the prime minister had been admitted to hospital. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 15:50:04 GMT)

Science Weekly in the pandemic: 'Every day you wake up to a discovery'
The team behind our popular podcast reflect on how the threat of Covid-19 has galvanised the scientific communityNicola Davis is one of Science Weekly’s presenters, alongside Ian Sample and Hannah Devlin. Madeleine Finlay is one of its regular producers, alongside Max Sanderson and David Waters   Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 11:00:41 GMT)

The Minnesota paradox: how race divides prosperous Minneapolis
Protests over killing of George Floyd highlight reality of tensions in the Twin CitiesIt has been called the “Minnesota paradox”. The Twin Cities, comprising the conjoined urban areas of Minneapolis and St Paul, regularly tops the list of places in the US with the best quality of living.Largely low rise and sprawling, set around the cities’ lakes and the Mississippi, the area is marked by affordable and largely good quality housing with lawns, parks, museums and tree-lined streets. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 15:16:12 GMT)

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