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Dominic Cummings has broken Covid-19 policy trust, say top scientists
Health experts warn lives ‘put at risk’, as Opinium/Observer poll shows slump in Tory supportCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBritain’s top public health leaders and scientists have warned Boris Johnson that trust in the government has been shattered by the Dominic Cummings affair and now poses real danger to life when lockdown measures are lifted this week.In a letter sent to No 10 on Friday, 26 senior UK academics and health administrators warn that public faith in the government is essential if the Covid-19 crisis is to be tackled effectively. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 19:30:51 GMT)

Coronavirus live news: Global cases pass 6 million as Brazil sees record one-day increase
Brazil cases near 500,000; Pope asks world leaders to provide Covid relief; lockdown eased for clinically vulnerable in UK. Follow the latest updatesPope Francis calls on world leaders to provide coronavirus reliefGlobal cases pass 6 millionBrazil sees record one-day increase in casesSenior UK adviser has broken trust in policy, say top scientistsCoronavirus latest: at a glance 4.25am BST Brazil has surpassed France’s death toll, after it reached 28,834 coronavirus fatalities, becoming the country with the world’s fourth-highest death toll.Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro remain the hardest-hit states in Brazil in terms of sheer numbers, while per capita rates are higher in the country’s impoverished north and northeast, where health facilities are reaching capacity. 4.14am BST The Covid-19 pandemic has seen a ferocious competition erupt between China and the US, the UN’s two main contributors, fuelling paralysis according to diplomats, AFP reports. After more than two months of negotiations, the 15 Security Council members were unable to reach agreement on a resolution supporting a call from the UN secretary-general for a global cease-fire while the world battles the novel coronavirus. Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 03:25:02 GMT)

Lockdown to be eased for England's most clinically vulnerable
New Covid-19 guidelines to allow 2.2 million who are shielding to go outside from MondayCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe more than 2 million people who have been “shielding” from Covid-19 in England because they are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable will be allowed to spend time outdoors from Monday for the first time in 10 weeks.Boris Johnson praised their resilience as their particular lockdown measures are set to be eased. The communities secretary, Robert Jenrick, will confirm the move on Sunday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 22:50:41 GMT)

Key election battlegrounds face double hit from Brexit and coronavirus
The economies of the north-west and Midlands are vulnerable to fallout caused by Covid-19 and failure to secure a trade deal Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageKey English election battlegrounds in the north-west and Midlands will be severely exposed to a double economic hit from Brexit and coronavirus should the UK fail to secure an EU trade deal by the end of the year, new analysis has warned.Boris Johnson has continued to rule out any extension to Britain’s EU transition deal, which expires from January. It comes despite a deadlock in talks about a future trade deal, before the final round of talks this week. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 23:01:55 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)

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 22:53:44 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)

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)

'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)

'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)

Donald Trump postpones G7 summit and signals wider invitation list
After Angela Merkel pulls out, US president postpones Camp David meeting but says he wants to invite Australia, Russia and India in futureUS president Donald Trump has postponed the Group of Seven summit that he wanted to hold in June and will also expand the list of countries invited to attend the rescheduled event to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One during his return to Washington from Cape Canaveral in Florida, Trump said the G7 in its current format was a “very outdated group of countries”. Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 01:49:37 GMT)

'A moral obligation': radical reform urged before cruise ships allowed to return to Australia
Unions oppose ‘business as usual’, where multinational companies earn billions from Australian passengers on ships registered in tax havens and crewed by migrant workersSign up for Guardian Australia’s daily coronavirus emailDownload the free Guardian app to get the most important news notificationsCruise ships and their crews have been largely out of sight and mind since being ordered out of Australian territorial waters in March. As the ill-fated Ruby Princess finally left its temporary berth in Port Kembla on 23 April with only the crew on board, the last thing on anyone’s mind was an imminent return of paying passengers on cruises heading to Australian ports.But now tickets are on sale for cruises that sail as soon as September, raising urgent questions about the future of the industry. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 20:00:52 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)

NSW government dumps Olympic stadium redevelopment as Covid-19 restrictions set to ease
Plans to relocate Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum to Parramatta will still go aheadThe New South Wales government will walk away from its planned $810m redevelopment of the former Olympic stadium in Sydney as the state grapples with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.On Sunday the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, will announce that the state government will dump the stadium redevelopment, a key but controversial plank of its election pitch last year, instead announcing a $3bn fund for smaller, “shovel-ready projects”. Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 00:52:22 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)

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)

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)

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)

George Floyd: cities across US impose curfews in night of angry protests – live
Protests rock cities across US as anger over killing spreadsTrump threatens protesters with ‘vicious dogs’Atlanta police chief: ‘black lives being diminished’ Get a fresh perspective on America – sign up to our First Thing newsletter 4.20am BST The mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, has declared a state of civil emergency after protesters set a fire inside the Metro Courthouse in the state’s capital.They’ve set fire again to the courthouse. Black smoke billowing out a window. They’re starting to smash it again pic.twitter.com/K9gHH2NgUb 4.10am BST In Minneapolis, police have continued to fire rubber bullets on protesters out past the curfew, according to our Chris McGreal, who remains at the scene. He said riot police are attempting to surround the demonstrators who are fleeing:Police moving up Lake st as they surround curfew breaking protesters on the run after riot police fired on them. #minneapolisriots #minneapolis #GeorgeFloydprotest #georgefloyd pic.twitter.com/ehBnudeen5 Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 03:20:22 GMT)

SpaceX successfully launches Nasa astronauts into orbit
Donald Trump and Mike Pence witness launch in FloridaFirst attempt was cancelled minutes from blast-offA rocketship named Dragon breathed new fire into America’s human spaceflight programme on Saturday, carrying two astronauts on a much-anticipated adventure. Related: Trump wants America looking at the stars as he drags it through the gutter Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 20:18:46 GMT)

John Bercow will not get peerage despite Corbyn nomination
Former speaker remains the subject of an investigation into alleged bullying John Bercow will not be awarded a peerage despite being nominated by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, it has been reported.The nomination of the former Speaker of the House of Commons will not be passed on to the Queen for approval because he is the subject of an investigation into alleged wrongdoing and will not pass a “propriety test” unless he is cleared before the nominations are sent. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 22:47:18 GMT)

Michael Angelis, Thomas the Tank Engine narrator, dies aged 76
The Liverpudlian actor voiced the children’s programme for 13 series and was known for TV work in The Liver Birds and Auf Wiedersehen, Pet Michael Angelis, best known as the narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine series Thomas and Friends, has died at the age of 76. The actor died suddenly while at home with his wife on Saturday, his agent said. Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 02:33:08 GMT)

Crab blood to remain big pharma's standard as industry group rejects substitute
Animal rights groups have been pushing a synthetic alternative to horseshoe crab blood in drug safety testingHorseshoe crabs’ icy-blue blood will remain the drug industry’s standard for safety tests after a powerful US group ditched a plan to give equal status to a synthetic substitute pushed by Swiss biotech Lonza and animal welfare groups.The crabs’ copper-rich blood clots in the presence of bacterial endotoxins and has long been used in tests to detect contamination in shots and infusions. Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 02:53:06 GMT)

Death of Algerian girl, 10, in 'faith healing' ceremony sparks outcry
A 28-year-old man has been arrested over the death of the girl, who showed signs of ‘blows and burns’A 10-year-old girl who died in eastern Algeria while undergoing faith healing appeared to suffer “blows and burns”, a prosecutor said, sparking angry reactions online after the arrest of a man.The public prosecutor in Guelma, 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of the capital Algiers, announced a 28-year-old man had been arrested on Thursday after the death of the girl “who was abused during a ruqya (faith healing) to which she was subjected in her family home”. Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 01:54:04 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)

Three people seriously injured jumping into sea at Dorset beach
Air ambulances landed at Durdle Door and the beach was evacuatedThree people have been seriously injured jumping off cliffs into the sea at a beach in Dorset.Air ambulances landed at the scene at Durdle Door on Saturday afternoon, and police are now asking people to stay away from the popular tourist spot, near Lulworth. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 19:09:14 GMT)

Jacinda Ardern: 'Political leaders can be both empathetic and strong'
In this book extract, the New Zealand PM says too much focus on power and strength means leaders can lose sight of the need for kindnessTell us a little about yourself.My name is Jacinda Ardern and I’m the prime minister of New Zealand. And I’m the third female prime minister, the second youngest, and the youngest female prime minister. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 20:00:53 GMT)

The governor says Minneapolis is 'under assault'. Who is behind the protests?
Narrative of outsiders stirring up trouble was not without truth, but blaming ideological agitators is also politically convenientMinnesota’s governor, Tim Walz, blamed “elements” of domestic terrorism, ideological extremism and international destabilisation for what he called an assault on Minneapolis. Black community leaders suggested the destruction was led by white supremacists and anarchists intent on destroying the state. Related: George Floyd: governor's vow to reclaim streets rings hollow on night of chaos Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 00:01:43 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)

Cook Off, the no-budget romcom that became the first Zimbabwean film on Netflix
Shot in the chaotic last days of Robert Mugabe’s regime, Cook Off is a feel-good tale of resilience and hopeA Zimbabwean film about a woman who enters a TV cooking show and which cost only $8,000 to make has become the first feature from the country to make it onto Netflix.“Seeing myself on Netflix, I have to punch myself every day. Like, is that really me?” asked actress Tendaiishe Chitima, star of Cook Off, which has now been acquired by the streaming giant. Continue reading...
(Sun, 31 May 2020 01:13:41 GMT)

Cybersecurity, DIY and gaming to come up trumps in FTSE reshuffle
Predictably, travel and aviation stocks are set to drop out of the top 100 firms in this week’s stock market reviewIn the words of 1978 song The Gambler, recorded so memorably by country crooner Kenny Rogers, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” There has of late been more folding than holding from FTSE 100 investors, leading to one of the biggest reshuffles of the index in recent memory.The term “blue chip” has its origins on the poker table, where blue was the colour of the highest-value tokens. Rarely have the gambling idioms so beloved of investing commentary felt so appropriate as when the pandemic saw many companies land on zero revenues during lockdowns. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 23:01:55 GMT)

How we stay together: 'Pretty much on a daily basis there's adjustments'
Deb Stumm and Di Lane became serious about each other quickly, and more than two decades on, the things that drew them together remain unchangedNames: Deb Stumm and Di LaneYears together: 24Occupations: RetiredWhile she was fighting to get a heart transplant, Deb Stumm couldn’t stop worrying about one thing: who would look after her partner Di Lane if things didn’t work out? “I’m the cook in the house and I always worry about her not eating enough,” says Deb. “When I go away, she doesn’t eat properly and I get back and she’s all hungry and exhausted and I have to build her up again. So I couldn’t bear the thought of her not looking after herself.” Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 20:00:52 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)

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)

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)

Bundesliga may have pressing problems but it's at the tactical forefront | Jonathan Wilson
The rustiness on display in Germany since play restarted shows how valuable regular drilling is but Dortmund v Bayern was an overtly modern game of exceptional qualityAll sporting events have their myths, the useful narratives hung on them as the flags are lowered on the final day and we have to work out what the past month, all that effort, all that emotion, all that money, was for. Remember how the 2012 Olympics in London brought us together as an open, multicultural nation inspired to a more active future? The 2006 World Cup, we were told, was about the patriotic celebration of a new Germany. And perhaps it was.However immersion in the Bundesliga over the past three weeks suggests the most tangible legacy was the wholesale adoption of pressing. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 19:00:51 GMT)

English sport returns behind closed doors after government go-ahead
Horse racing will be first sport to resume on MondayPremier League season set to restart on 17 June“The British sporting recovery has begun,” declared the culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, as he announced that professional sport in England can resume from Monday, paving the way for the first domestic live action in almost three months.Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing, Dowden said the government had settled on a set of strict conditions that must be followed for sports to be allowed to return behind closed doors. The rules form stage three of the process of bringing sport back from the coronavirus lockdown. Stage two, which allowed for close-contact training for elite athletes, was published last Monday. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 15:00:09 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)

Nick Pope: 'England is so far away but being the No 1 is something I want'
Burnley’s goalkeeper on his lower-league journey, learning not to fear mistakes and his desire to dislodge Jordan PickfordThe goalkeeper’s lot is the peculiarity that hides in plain sight. They train alone most of the time, their technical and fitness work being entirely bespoke, and, come match day, it is preferable that they see as little of the ball as possible. Their view of the pitch is different, fixed and detached – everything feels different – and, for them, the game is as much psychological as physical, the ultimate test of focus.Nick Pope uses words such as “singular” and “individual”. The Burnley and England goalkeeper remembers how as a young player, he had no teammate to talk him through matches, to offer positional tips. You are on your own between the sticks and the deal can seem thankless, unbalanced; one in which reliability, even excellence, is taken for granted and single mistakes tarnish reputations. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 11:00:41 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)

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)

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)

England 'risks Covid-19 surge' without test-and-trace safety net
One scientist says Cummings affair ‘not a recipe for public trust’ at key stage of lockdownCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe government is facing increasing pressure from its scientific advisers over the decision to ease England’s lockdown, with one warning that the Dominic Cummings affair has eroded trust in its authority.Prof Robert West, a member of the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) that advises the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), emphasised on Saturday that about 8,000 infections, and 400 deaths, are still happening each day. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 14:24:42 GMT)

UK lockdown rules: what you are allowed to do from Monday
Varying rules for meeting outside will apply in England, Wales and Scotland Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe prime minister announced on Thursday that groups of up to six people could meet outdoors in England from Monday, permitting what he described as “a long-awaited and joyful moment” as family and friends reunite after 10 weeks in lockdown. He set out the next stage in the easing of restrictions with a caveat that “there may still be some anomalies, or apparent inconsistencies, in these rules”.The UK government was yet to publish the promised guidance on the new rules on Friday afternoon but here is what has been announced so far. Continue reading...
(Fri, 29 May 2020 13:11:05 GMT)

Four men arrested over suspected stabbings in London's Hyde Park
Police called to ‘disorder’ near Serpentine lake where three men suffered stab woundsFour men have been arrested over suspected stabbings in a central London park on Saturday evening.The Metropolitan police made the arrests after three men suffered stab wounds in Hyde Park near Knightsbridge. The victims are in a stable condition, the force said. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 22:58:15 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)

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)

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)

Trump justice department forces out top FBI lawyer in Flynn case – report
NBC News: general counsel Dana Boente forced out on FridayFox News host Lou Dobbs slammed lawyer in AprilFlynn transcripts show he discussed sanctions with RussianA top FBI lawyer who was criticised on Fox News for his role in the investigation of Michael Flynn has resigned after being asked to do so by senior figures at the Department of Justice, NBC News reported on Saturday. Related: What is 'Obamagate' and why is Trump so worked up about it? Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 21:52:15 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)

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)

Microsoft sacks journalists to replace them with robots
Users of the homepages of the MSN website and Edge browser will now see news stories generated by AIDozens of journalists have been sacked after Microsoft decided to replace them with artificial intelligence software.Staff who maintain the news homepages on Microsoft’s MSN website and its Edge browser – used by millions of Britons every day – have been told that they will be no longer be required because robots can now do their jobs. Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 06:00:35 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)

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)

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)

'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)

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)

‘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)

Parlez-vous anglaise? This season's best broderie anglaise
Listen up... Cool and pretty, broderie anglaise is set to be a summer favourite Continue reading...
(Sat, 30 May 2020 22:45:55 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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