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

UK coronavirus live: death toll rises by 569 to 2,921

Boris Johnson still symptomatic; Matt Hancock to address testing; Eddie Large’s son says comedian has died after contracting coronavirus

Kerrang! Magazine has temporarily stopped publishing its print edition as it has become “virtually impossible” to distribute it, it was announced in a statement on its website.

The decision comes after “a period of unprecedented turmoil within the music industry and beyond”, the statement added.

An important announcement from Kerrang! https://t.co/uIBuOkaQb9 pic.twitter.com/K2bmPgVNA8

The Scottish Prison Service has confirmed that it is contacting retired officers to return to work during the coronavirus pandemic as the Prison Officers’ Association in Scotland revealed it is facing staffing shortages of nearly 25%.

Scotland’s prisons had already seen a significant staffing shortfall with chronic overcrowding putting undue pressure on officers. The figure of 25% includes those off on sick leave and maternity leave, as well as those absent because they are self-isolating.

From our understanding, it will be three weeks at the earliest before the necessary secondary legislation to release prisoners can be considered. To leave prisoners waiting this long is to ignore everything we now know about this virus.

This inaction verges on being reckless: It will mean a death sentence for some.

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Coronavirus live news: confirmed global cases approaching 1 million

Spain death toll passes 10,000; Catalonia asks Spanish army for help; Thailand imposes national curfew

The Hong Kong government has been accused of attacking the editorial independence of its public broadcaster after criticising it for asking a World Health Organization official why Taiwan had not been admitted as a member.

In an official statement, a spokesman for Hong Kong’s Commerce and Economic Development Bureau said Radio Television Hong Kong had “breached the One-China Principle” as well as its mission of “engendering a sense of citizenship and national identity”. The statement said:

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Edward Yau, has clearly stated in a press release issued by the CEDB on 18 February and at his media stand-up on 17 March that RTHK must uphold and abide by the Charter of RTHK in discharging its duties to provide public service broadcasting. In reporting their work to the CEDB, the Director of Broadcasting and RTHK management have repeatedly pledged to the Secretary that RTHK will strictly adhere to and at all times abide by the Charter.

The public purposes and mission of RTHK have been clearly specified in the Charter, which includes engendering a sense of citizenship and national identity through programmes that contribute to the understanding of our community and nation; and promoting understanding of the concept of ‘One Country, Two Systems.’

??WOW?? Bruce Aylward/@WHO did an interview with HK's @rthk_news & when asked about #Taiwan he pretended not to hear the question. The journalist asks again & he hangs up!

She calls back & he said "Well, we've already talked about China."

ENJOY+SHARE THE MADNESS! #CoronaVirus pic.twitter.com/jgpHRVHjNX

When you look at the interview done by the Pulse reporter, it is about the coronavirus issue, it is about health. I don’t really understand why when a reporter is asking something relating to health, she or he has to remember there is ‘one country, two systems’ … in line with the government or China.

I believe the government statement may come after some kind of pressure from the foreign ministry or the Chinese Communist party, I don’t know. But I think the statement is the biggest nonsense.

The Guardian’s graphics team has produced this visualisation of the rate of increases in officially confirmed coronavirus infections in several countries around the world.

Of course, with wildly differing testing regimes in different countries, and accusations that China is hiding the true extent of its outbreak, such comparisons ought to be viewed in context.

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UK pharmacists facing abuse and violence during lockdown

Police patrols deployed to some outlets with one customer threatening to kill staff

Frontline workers in pharmacists are being subjected to a wave of abuse ranging from violent attacks to verbal intimidation such as being told: “I hope you get coronavirus.”

Police patrols have been deployed to some outlets as deterrents amid mounting day-to-day tensions, scuffles in queues outside premises, which are limiting the number of entrants, and incidents including the theft of one Midlands’ pharmacy’s stock by masked raiders.

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NHS nurses resort to online wishlists to source everyday items

Hospital staff post requests for essentials from teabags and energy bars to iPads and pens

NHS nurses are turning to online crowdfunding to ask for donations of everyday essentials including sanitary products, bedding and hand cream as some hospitals run low on basic items before the peak of the UK’s coronavirus outbreak.

Medics are using online wishlists to request thousands of products for staff and patients, ranging from teabags to sleeping bags and including iPads and chargers so families can speak to loved ones.

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Life in lockdown: how our jobs turned upside down – video

All over the country, people turn the camera on their lives and show how Covid-19 has changed their experience of work. A medical courier at the heart of the crisis demands basic rights, a worker at an empty airport pulls together a union hardship fund - and people in a range of jobs try to navigate the buckling benefits system and the government's scheme to help people who are no longer working. What burns through is the sudden urgency of people joining together to avoid the worst


Music: Bells by Phil France on Godwana records - more info here 

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Coronavirus testing: how some countries got ahead of the rest

Germany was quick to see the threat while South Korea took an aggressive approach

Countries have approached coronavirus testing in different ways, and in some places there was far earlier recognition than in the UK of the need to develop tests and kits and to have sufficient numbers stockpiled. Here is how some countries got ahead of the curve.

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Coronavirus latest: at a glance

A summary of the biggest developments in the global coronavirus outbreak

Key developments in the global coronavirus outbreak today include:

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UK coronavirus testing: what ministers said and what has happened

Science editor Ian Sample puts advisers’ and MPs’ claims to the reality test

Over the past fortnight, ministers and their scientific advisers have made a series of claims over testing. Which of them stand up to scrutiny?

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Comedian Eddie Large dies after contracting coronavirus

Tributes pour in after son confirms death at 78 of one half of comedy duo Little and Large

Eddie Large, best known as one half of the comedy duo Little and Large, has died aged 78 after contracting coronavirus.

Related: Eddie Large - a life in pictures

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BrewDog hand sanitiser turned down by local hospital in Scotland

Brewer could reformulate ‘punk sanitiser’ after it falls short of medical standards

The independent brewer BrewDog is considering reformulating hand sanitiser made at its distillery in Aberdeenshire after it was turned down by a local hospital because it did not meet medical standards.

The firm said last month it would be giving away its “punk sanitiser” free to charities and to the Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, but a donation of thousands of bottles was turned down by the hospital.

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Coronavirus support loophole leaves many UK film and TV staff without pay, say MPs

Fears for up to 50,000 production workers currently ineligible for financial aid

Tens of thousands of film and TV production staff left jobless by the coronavirus shutdown must be included in the chancellor’s coronavirus support package, an influential group of MPs has argued.

The cross-party digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee has written to the Treasury urging a rethink on Rishi Sunak’s measures so that more self-employed people are eligible for income support.

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Coronavirus: London hospital almost runs out of oxygen for Covid-19 patients

Incident at major hospital raises fears over pressure on supplies during pandemic

A major NHS hospital almost ran out of oxygen for its Covid-19 patients on ventilators because it was treating so many people with the disease who needed help to breathe.

The incident, which occurred at a London teaching hospital last weekend, has prompted NHS bosses to urgently warn all NHS trusts in England to limit the number of people they put on mechanical ventilators and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines.

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Asian countries face possible second wave of coronavirus infections

Daily numbers of confirmed cases rising again as people rush home to beat border closures

Asian countries that started to feel tentative hope that their responses to the coronavirus pandemic were bearing fruit are now facing possible second waves, brought by a rush of panicked people racing home to beat border closures and quarantine orders.

As daily numbers of confirmed cases start to rise again, and new evidence of asymptomatic cases spark fear of unwitting community transmission, many have now brought in far stricter measures.

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Coronavirus batters US economy as 6.65m file for unemployment last week

US sees second major unemployment rise as millions working in retail, restaurants, and travel lose jobs

More than 6.65 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the US last week, the latest official figures to highlight the devastating economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the American economy.

The federal labor department announced that a new record number of people sought benefits after losing their jobs in the week ending 27 Marchas long lines formed at unemployment offices, phone lines jammed and websites collapsed under the weight of claims across the US.

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Deal to let stranded cruise ships dock in Florida 'is just hours away'

Zaandam liner and sister ship await approval to dock in Port Everglades

Officials in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, have told the Guardian an agreement to allow two coronavirus-stricken cruise liners to dock in Port Everglades should be reached “within a few hours”.

The Broward County commissioner, Beam Furr, said that excluding a few logistical details, the county had reached an agreement with the cruise operator Holland America Line on Wednesday night to allow for the ships to disembark.

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The French brotherhood burying the dead – rich or poor - since 1188

The Confrérie des Charitables de Saint-Éloi has carried on its duties through war and plague

To the sound of a single tolling bell, the brothers of the Confrérie des Charitables de Saint-Éloi, in capes, white gloves and bicornes, lift the coffin from a wooden cart and lower it into the ground.

Standing over the grave they remove their hats, say “requiescat in pace” (rest in peace) in unison and bow their heads. It does not matter whether the deceased is rich or poor, the solemn ritual is the same and has been since 1188.

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Doctors and nurses are dying for lack of equipment. Is Johnson up to this? | Gaby Hinsliff

In 1915 a shortage of shells for soldiers brought down the government. A century on, the prime minister faces a similar challenge

Coronavirus latest updates

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Thomas Harvey was a family man, a father of seven, but in his last moments he was forced apart from them.

The 57-year-old nurse, who had been self-isolating at home with coronavirus symptoms, was found by paramedics who broke down a bathroom door to reach him, but sadly he could not be saved. It is impossible to know where exactly he was infected. But Harvey, the fifth NHS worker to die during this outbreak, reportedly told his wife he had been treating patients at Goodmayes hospital in Ilford equipped only with “a flimsy apron, and no mask”. He had devoted his life to the NHS, his daughter Tamira said and she felt he had been let down.

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Brazil's message to the world: our president is wrong about coronavirus | Eliane Brum

Even as his country turns on him, Jair Bolsonaro’s denialism is encouraging the pandemic’s spread. The risks are global

• Coronavirus – latest updates

• See all our coronavirus coverage

The Covid-19 pandemic has its villain. And it’s not the virus. Even the most outlandish Hollywood disaster movie wouldn’t entertain the notion of a president who encourages the public to go out more during a public health emergency, as Jair Bolsonaro has done.

Related: UN secretary general: recovery from the coronavirus crisis must lead to a better world | António Guterres

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The UK will change after coronavirus. But we have to fight to make it a change for the better | Owen Jones

Change is coming to the UK, when this crisis is over. Unless progressives have a plan, they will lose out like they did in 2008

It can take a grave national crisis to fire a flare, revealing the ugliest features of a society defined by injustices that the wealthy and powerful would rather forget. It took the second world war to achieve what the Jarrow hunger marches of the 1930s struggled for: to illustrate the national shame that millions of people who were called upon to make grand sacrifices were afflicted by poverty and malnourishment. As child evacuees with hungry bellies arrived on the doorsteps of the relatively well-to-do, the other Britain could no longer be ignored. “A revolutionary moment in the world’s history is a time for revolutions, not for patching,” declared William Beveridge as he laid the foundations for the postwar welfare state. Unprecedented state direction of the economy meant that Labour’s ambitious programme of nationalisation no longer seemed quite so scary. The old order perished in the rubble of war-ravaged Britain.

Coronavirus has done two things: it has magnified existing social crises and has proved that the government can act decisively when the will is there. Millions are only ever one pay packet away from destitution; the self-employed and gig economy workers lack security and basic rights; private tenants are at the mercy of their landlords; our welfare state is woefully inadequate; and many designated “key workers” are desperately undervalued and badly paid. Who, in good faith, can now blind themselves to these grim truths?

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Terminal cancer means I won't see the other side of lockdown | Elliot Dallen

I imagined spending my last weeks with friends. Isolated in my flat, I’m having to rethink what a ‘good death’ might be

Coronavirus – latest updates

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As I was lying in a hospital bed last July after complications arising from chemotherapy, my oncologist entered the room with my scan results. Hospital had become familiar to me but his next words weren’t. The treatment wasn’t working. There was little else that could be done. I pressed him to be more specific and was told bluntly that I wouldn’t last a year. I would be lucky to have half that time. This was nine months ago, before Covid-19, and I’m very unlikely to be alive to see the other side of lockdown.

Almost two years ago, as summer in London was just beginning, an ultrasound to investigate a bladder infection found a large tumour on my right adrenal gland that had spread to my lungs. I was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma, an extremely rare and aggressive cancer. It is in desperate need of research; when it is advanced there is very little effective treatment. This was not something I expected in my late 20s. Early on, after reading the bleak statistics, I started preparing myself for the inevitable. But treatment began positively and my focus changed to getting better. When death isn’t staring you in the face, it is easy to push back the difficult thoughts and conversations. Dying was something to address later.

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Covid-19 recoveries: 'It was the most terrifying experience of my life'

People in the UK who have returned to health after fighting off coronavirus tell their stories

“I could tell the nurses were as scared as me; they told me my coronavirus test was positive as if I was going to die,” says Ati, 41, who was admitted to hospital in Edinburgh after suffering from a fever, a constant cough, abdominal and chest pain, shortness of breath and the loss of her sense of smell and taste.

She had initially been told by 111 call responders to nurse her symptoms at home, but was instructed to go to hospital after coughing up blood.

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The antidote: your favourite reads beyond coronavirus

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by coverage of the pandemic, try this list of non-coronavirus articles that our readers spent the most time with on Wednesday

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We're taking the kids camping – in the living room

Campers and open-water swimmers are coping with lockdown by going wild in their own homes and gardens. Are you doing the same? Share your virtual adventures at #guardiantravelsnaps

Desperate times call for creativity, and for cooped-up outdoor enthusiasts that means attempting to conjure up a sense of adventure at home.

Across the country, lovers of camping are pitching their tents in gardens or living rooms, complete with marshmallows for toasting and guitars to play around mock campfires. Emma Cuff of West Malling in Kent is among the small but growing group of indoor campers dusting off their tents. “We’ve got four camping trips booked this summer which may or may not go ahead, so for some fun we dug out an old tent from the loft.” She posted the results on Instagram with the hashtag #thevirtualcampsite – and won a tent from Cool Camping, one of several companies encouraging people to post their home creations on social media. This week Cool Camping is giving away a pair of hiking boots to the best effort. Outdoor gear specialist Cotswold Outdoor is hosting a virtual Easter camp on Saturday 11 April, inviting people to share photos of pitches, camp food and views (#campingathome), and offering tutorials and demonstrations. Go Outdoors plans to offer tips in its GO Indoors project. The upside? Rain can’t ruin an indoor camping trip.

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Coronavirus and volunteering: how can I help in the UK?

From lending a hand to local charities to bolstering the efforts of the NHS, there are many ways to get involved

There are plenty of ways to get involved. Many local charities will be keen to attract new volunteers – especially as older stalwarts are forced to stay at home. Or there are national schemes, such as NHS volunteer responders. Some bigger charities, such as the Trussell Trust food bank network, have set up their own online schemes to match volunteers with food banks in their area. Local volunteer centres and organisations such as Volunteering Matters and Do-it can link you up with charities close to where you live. Reach Volunteering will match people with specialist professional skills, such IT expertise, to charities who need their help.

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EU court rules three member states broke law over refugee quotas

Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland failed to comply with 2015 programme, ECJ says

Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic broke European law when they failed to give refuge to asylum seekers arriving in southern Europe, often having fled war in Syria and Iraq, the EU’s top court has ruled.

The three central European countries now face possible fines for refusing to take a share of refugees, after EU leaders forced through mandatory quotas to relocate up to 160,000 asylum seekers at the height of the 2015 migration crisis.

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Arron Banks fails to use European laws to avoid paying £162,000 tax bill

HMRC says millionaire owes money for inheritance tax liability on Ukip donations

Arron Banks, the businessman and Ukip party donor, has failed in his attempt to use European human rights laws to dismiss a £162,000 tax bill.

The Brexit-backing millionaire has been resisting an HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) assessment that he owes the money for an inheritance tax liability on political donations to Ukip.

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Ease rules on research into psychedelic drugs, urges David Nutt

Ex-government adviser says substances such as psilocybin could have medical value

Restrictions on the use of psychedelic drugs in research should be relaxed to help find new treatments for conditions including mental health disorders, the former government adviser Prof David Nutt has said.

Nutt was sacked as chair of the advisory committee on the misuse of drugs in October 2009 over his views that ecstasy and LSD are less dangerous than alcohol.

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Beware hungry seagulls during lockdown, Yorkshire residents told

East Riding of Yorkshire council says coastal birds could be more aggressive due to lack of food

They are already the scourge of the seaside day tripper, mounting mobbing raids on those enjoying fish and chips.

Now, with the coronavirus lockdown and all but essential travel banned, coastal residents are being warned seagulls could be more aggressive than usual because of a drop in their preferred food source.

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UK government in row with EU over proposed office in Belfast

UK rejected initial request from Brussels during negotiations on post-Brexit Irish border controls

The British government has rejected an EU request to open an office in Belfast, in the first major row over the implementation of the post-Brexit Irish border protocol.

The EU closed its offices across the UK when the country left the bloc on 31 January but its officials have a right to be present to monitor the checks and controls on goods crossing the Irish Sea.

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'We must use this time well': climate experts hopeful after Cop26 delay

Moving summit gives world time to respond to coronavirus and may allow a new US leader to join talks

Green campaigners and climate leaders have vowed to keep up the pressure on governments around the world to make stringent new commitments on the climate crisis, as a vital UN climate summit was delayed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Cop26 talks were scheduled to take place this November in Glasgow, but the UK hosts won a delay on Wednesday night from the UN and other nations, after weeks of speculation the talks would be cancelled.

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Number of potential modern slavery victims in UK rises by 52%

In 2019, 10,627 potential victims were identified meaning they were provided with specialist support

The number of potential modern slavery victims identified in the UK has risen by 52% in a year to a record high, official figures have revealed.

In 2019, 10,627 potential victims of modern slavery were referred to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM), the official system through which victims of modern slavery are identified and provided with support. This was up from 6,986 in 2018.

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'Zero accountability': US accused of failure to report civilian deaths in Africa

US military vows to be more open about activities after allegations that teenager and farmer were killed in Somalia airstrikes

Faced with new allegations of killing civilians with drone strikes in Somalia, the US military has announced plans to make its operations across Africa more transparent.

Amnesty International accused the US military on Wednesday of providing “zero accountability” for civilian victims of airstrikes by its Africa command, Africom.

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WeWork founder threatens to sue after Softbank scraps rescue deal

Adam Neumann had been lined up to sell $970m of his own shares to Japanese investor

WeWork’s founder and former chief executive, Adam Neumann, has threatened to sue SoftBank, the office space company’s biggest investor, after it pulled out of a deal to buy $3bn (£2.4bn) of WeWork shares – including almost $1bn from Neumann himself.

SoftBank, which is run by the Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, announced on Thursday it was terminating a $3bn share tender rescue deal hammered out last October to save WeWork from collapse.

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International Booker prize shortlist led by 28-year-old’s debut

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld joins five other ‘expansively imagined’ novels contending for £50,000 award

Dutch author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld has become one of the youngest writers to be shortlisted for a Booker prize, after their debut novel made the final line-up for the International Booker.

Rijneveld, a rising star in Dutch literature, is 28 – slightly older than British author Daisy Johnson was when she was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 2018, age 27. The author, who identifies as male and uses the pronouns they/them, was shortlisted after a six-hour virtual judging meeting for the £50,000 prize, which is shared equally between writer and translator, for The Discomfort of Evening, translated by Michele Hutchison. The novel, tells of a girl whose brother dies in a skating accident and draws from Rijneveld’s own experiences: when they were three, their 12-year-old brother was knocked over and killed by a bus.

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The top 25 most compelling Hollywood autobiographies – ranked!

Inspiring, indiscreet and occasionally gasp-worthy – to mark the publication of Woody Allen’s Apropos of Nothing, we arrange the best Tinseltown memoirs in order of excellence

The two volumes of Anjelica Huston’s autobiography are a shrewd account of her life with wry comments on the alpha-males in it, including her father John Huston and longtime boyfriend Jack Nicholson.

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‘Zoom is malware’: why experts worry about the video conferencing platform

The company has seen a 535% rise in daily traffic in the past month, but security researchers say the app is a ‘privacy disaster’

As coronavirus lockdowns have moved many in-person activities online, the use of video conferencing platform Zoom has quickly escalated. So, too, have concerns about its security.

In the last month, there was a 535% rise in daily traffic to the Zoom.us download page, according to an analysis from web analytics firm SimilarWeb. Its app for iPhone has been the most downloaded app in the country for weeks, according to the mobile app market research firm Sensor Tower. Even politicians and other high-profile figures, including the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, and the former US federal reserve chair Alan Greenspan, use it for conferencing as they work from home.

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Eddie Large: the big man of 80s British TV comedy | Mark Lawson

Eddie Large took the bigger role – in more ways than one – of the double act the BBC saw as successors to Morecambe and Wise, and whose sketch show had 15 million viewers a week

Would a comedy double act called McGinnis and Mead ever have come to be seen as the natural successors to Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise? That remains a counter-historical imponderable. But, when Edward Hugh McGinnis, who has died aged 78, changed his name to Eddie Large and teamed up with Cyril John Mead, who called himself Syd Little, the duo Little and Large did take the place of Morecambe and Wise – in terms at least of BBC One scheduling prominence from 1978 to 1991.

Large had mostly retired from the showbiz frontline in 2003, following a heart transplant. The immunosuppressant drugs necessary after such an operation put him in one of the highest-risk groups for the Covid-19 virus.

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'It's pure rock’n’roll': how Money Heist became Netflix's biggest global hit

While still a cult concern in the UK, this Spanish thriller is the streaming service’s most popular foreign show. As it returns, its creator and stars explain how it became unmissable

You’ve rewatched The Wire, seen every episode of Friends at least twice and are starting to wonder if this is what it feels like to “complete” Netflix. But wait: there’s a world-changing, cultural juggernaut of a TV show that – while hugely popular – you may well have missed.

This week, Money Heist – or, to use its Spanish title, La Casa de Papel – begins another eight-episode run on Netflix, where it is the streaming giant’s most-watched non-English language show worldwide. The first season of the full-throttle thriller saw its gang – all code-named after major cities and memorably clad in revolutionary-red overalls and Salvador Dalí masks – break into the Royal Mint of Spain, taking 67 people hostage and literally printing money: 2.4bn euros, to be exact. It’s fair to say that the plot doesn’t quite go to plan, though it does result in three raunchy romances and an island escape. Season three, an even wilder ride, proved that for this gang loyalty is as much a motivation as loot.

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Bard from my own home: how I starred in a virtual Shakespeare play

How better to liven up lockdown than to stage the entire Shakespeare canon online? Our writer reports on his role in the webcam drama

‘Would you like to take part in a livestreamed performance of a Shakespeare play?” An innocent enough request, and tempting in these monochrome, locked-down times. At first I think I am being offered a part in Henry IV Part I, a very good play I dimly remember from A-level. Perhaps I could play the fiery Hotspur. But I realise it is actually Henry VI Part I – early Shakespeare, co-written with others, and reckoned by some to be the Bard’s weakest number. Oh well, you have to start somewhere. In any case it is too late. The die is cast, and so am I.

The enterprising director is Robert Myles, whose response to the lockdown has been to set about mounting the entire Shakespearean canon in chronological order, livestreaming a play a week on YouTube under the banner of The Show Must Go Online. He’d done two already – The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew – but this was to be the first history. Whether it would make history was another matter.

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Labour leadership election: the latest odds

Keir Starmer continues to be the bookie’s favourite to replace Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the opposition, and enjoyed a bounce after the weekend’s hustings. Clive Lewis and Jess Phillips, meanwhile have withdrawn from the contest. Find out who’s in the running and how the odds are evolving

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On the NHS frontline – podcast

Laura McClelland is a consultant anaesthetist in an intensive care unit at a busy south Wales hospital. She describes being on the frontline of the fight against Covid-19

The biggest daily rise in coronavirus deaths took place this week, and south Wales has become a hotspot for Covid-19.

Anushka Asthana talks to Laura McClelland, a consultant anaesthetist in an intensive care unit at a busy south Wales hospital. She describes the impact the virus has had on her and her colleagues and the patients and their families she is treating. At a time when the NHS is struggling to cope, she urges people to stay at home, noting that this is not just a virus that affects older people – she is treating people ranging from their 20s to 80s.

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From Houseparty to Zoom: our digital lives in lockdown - podcast

The lockdown across the world has led people to desperately seek out new tools for maintaining their work and social lives online. But UK technology editor Alex Hern argues he’s been living this way for years

The sudden lockdown imposed on millions of people around the world has seen a transition of nearly every aspect of daily life migrate online. From business meetings to religious services and house parties, there are tech solutions which, if not quite as satisfying, have quickly become the new normal.

But for the Guardian’s UK technology editor, Alex Hern, this has been no revolution. He tells Anushka Asthana that for as long as he can remember, he has lived and worked online.

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Lessons from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic - podcast

Science writer and journalist Laura Spinney discusses the outbreak of Spanish flu, one of the worst virus outbreak of modern times, which is believed to have killed up to 100 million people. She believes there are lessons to be learned from that pandemic

The world of 2020 is vastly different from 1918, the year Spanish flu began to spread around the world. By 1920, Spanish flu is thought to have claimed the lives of up to 100 million people. But, as science writer and journalist Laura Spinney notes, many of the public health measures were similar to measures governments are taking today.

Laura tells Rachel Humphreys about the different ways authorities tried to slow the spread of the disease, and the impact that had.

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Is Keir Starmer failing to call out the government over coronavirus? | Katy Balls

Amid calls for intervention, allies of the Labour leadership candidate say that could be seen as premature and opportunistic

• Coronavirus latest updates

• See all our coronavirus coverage

As government critics pile on Boris Johnson and his team over their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, there’s one figure who’s notably pulling their punches: Sir Keir Starmer.

Barring a major political upset, the shadow Brexit secretary is on course to be crowned Labour leader this weekend. His fellow MPs are already working on the assumption that he is: Labour politicians are working to curry favour while the Tories are preparing for a “forensic” Starmer-led opposition.

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UN secretary general: recovery from the coronavirus crisis must lead to a better world | António Guterres

We must ensure a sufficiently global and coordinated response to the pandemic, then build resilience for the future

Only by coming together will the world be able to face down the Covid-19 pandemic and its shattering consequences. At an emergency virtual meeting last Thursday, G20 leaders took steps in the right direction. But we are still far away from having a coordinated, articulated global response that meets the unprecedented magnitude of what we are facing.

Far from flattening the curve of infection, we are still well behind it. The disease initially took 67 days to infect 100,000 people; soon, 100,000 people and more will be infected daily. Without concerted and courageous action, the number of new cases will almost certainly escalate into the millions, pushing health systems to breaking point, economies into a nosedive and people into despair, with the poorest hit hardest.

We must prepare for the worst and do everything to avoid it. Here is a three-point call to action – based on science, solidarity and smart policies – for doing just that.

First, suppress transmission of the coronavirus.

This requires aggressive and early testing and contact tracing, complemented by quarantines, treatment and measures to keep first responders safe, combined with measures to restrict movement and contact. Such steps, despite the disruptions they cause, must be sustained until therapies and a vaccine emerge.

Crucially, this robust and cooperative effort should be guided by the World Health Organization, a member of the United Nations family; countries acting on their own – as they must for their people – will not get the job done for all.

Second, tackle the devastating social and economic dimensions of the crisis.

The virus is spreading like wildfire, and is likely to move swiftly into the global south, where health systems face constraints, people are more vulnerable, and millions live in densely populated slums or crowded settlements for refugees and internally displaced persons. Fuelled by such conditions, the virus could devastate the developing world and then re-emerge where it was previously suppressed. In our interconnected world, we are only as strong as the weakest health systems.

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The race to find a coronavirus treatment has one major obstacle: big pharma | Ara Darzi

AI companies and scientists are cooperating, but they desperately need access to pharmaceutical companies’ data

  • Prof Ara Darzi is a surgeon and director of the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London

The past few weeks have revealed the worst and the best in human responses to the coronavirus crisis – from the supermarket hoarders clearing the shelves to the neighbourhood groups organising help for elderly and vulnerable people.

When it comes to the pharmaceutical companies, how should we judge their response? They, after all, hold the key to ending the pandemic. Yet in one vital respect their behaviour has more in common with the supermarket hoarders than the neighbourhood groups.

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Why isn't the government publishing more data about coronavirus deaths? | Jeni Tennison

Studying the past is futile in an unprecedented crisis. Science is the answer – and open-source information is paramount

Coronavirus – latest updates
See all our coronavirus coverage

Wherever we look, there is a demand for data about Covid-19. We devour dashboards, graphs and visualisations. We want to know about the numbers of tests, cases and deaths; how many beds and ventilators are available, how many NHS workers are off sick. When information is missing, we speculate about what the government might be hiding, or fill in the gaps with anecdotes.

Data is a necessary ingredient in day-to-day decision-making – but in this rapidly evolving situation, it’s especially vital. Everything has changed, almost overnight. Demands for food, transport, and energy have been overhauled as more people stop travelling and work from home. Jobs have been lost in some sectors, and workers are desperately needed in others. Historic experience can no longer tell us how our society or economy is working. Past models hold little predictive power in an unprecedented situation. To know what is happening right now, we need up-to-date information.

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Dad has always sent care packages from China. Now it’s face masks instead of snacks | Yang Tian

When the parcel arrives, I will tear into it with the same joy as I did when I received my first one at university

The first care package I received from home was a few months into my first year of university in the US. I was 17 and it was my first time living alone abroad; homesickness came in waves and sat like a dead weight on my chest. So when the brown cardboard box came, battered from its flight from China, I tore into it as if it were a lifeline.

Nestled among the bubble wrap were mementos of the life I had left behind: beef jerky from the convenience store at the corner of our street, a small tin of green tea from our last family hike to a mountain plantation, a dog-eared Polaroid of my best friend and me that sat on my nightstand at home. It was a tug on the invisible thread that still tethered me to those who were thinking of me; a reminder that despite my immediate loneliness I was not, in fact, alone.

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Fountains of Wayne's Adam Schlesinger: a bona fide pop genius

Whether creating wily pastiche or heartfelt hits, Schlesinger – who has died of Covid-19 – was driven by a purist’s devotion to old-fashioned songcraft

You got a sense of the breadth of Adam Schlesinger’s talent from the tributes. There were people from alternative rock: Ted Leo, Dashboard Confessional. There were people from Hollywood and theatre: Tom Hanks, Fran Drescher. There were TV personalities (Kathy Griffin) and politicians (New Jersey’s governor, Phil Murphy) and novelists (Stephen King). There was the superstar producer who summed it all up: “Adam Schlesinger took pop music writing to its classiest and most untouchable place,” said Jack Antonoff. “An honour to live at the same time he made his work.”

So many people, from so many different strands, because Schlesinger wasn’t one thing; he was a musical omnivore. He was the Grammy-winning rock musician with Fountains of Wayne; he was the pop sophisticate of Ivy; he was the songwriter providing faux hits for movies about musicians (That Thing You Do!, for which he was nominated for an Oscar, Hugh Grant’s 80s pop hit in Music and Lyrics); he was the writer who soundtracked a musical TV series (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and who wrote for Sesame Street. He even managed to pick up an Emmy for a song written for a different awards show – his musical pastiche It’s Not Just for Gays Anymore, for the 2011 Tony Awards – and then do it again with another song for the same ceremony the following year. There was seemingly no style he could not master. He was, genuinely, one of the pop geniuses of the past quarter-century.

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Pay cuts, furlough or deferrals: what are the Premier League clubs doing?

From Arsenal to Wolves, we look at what the clubs are doing regarding pay for players, non-playing staff and casual staff

Arsenal continue to monitor the situation regarding player and staff wages and are playing an active role in the Premier League’s discussions. But there has been no decision taken and the focus has been on ensuring casual employees are looked after. All will be paid as normal until 30 April with the situation reviewed thereafter. Full-time employees were paid for the month on 27 March, as expected. For now there is little appetite to make redundancies. Nick Ames

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British sports bodies fear financial ruin because of coronavirus pandemic
  • Handful of national governing bodies face an existential threat
  • ‘Sports like ours will find it very difficult to recover’

Some British sporting bodies, including those sending athletes to next year’s Olympics, fear they could go under because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Guardian can reveal.

A handful of national governing bodies have privately told UK Sport that they face an existential threat due to the crisis, while at least a dozen more say they are facing a severe financial hit with events being cancelled and other sources of revenue being slashed.

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Wimbledon chief says tennis may not return until 2021 due to coronavirus

Richard Lewis, the outgoing chief executive of Wimbledon, hopes tennis can be “off and running again” by August, when the US Open is scheduled to begin, although he admits there may be “no more tennis this year”.

Speaking the day after the All England Club finally cancelled the championships for the first time since the second world war, Lewis acknowledged that uncertainty has gripped tennis because of the continued spread of coronavirus.

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Eddie Jones says he has unfinished business as England head coach

England will know by the end of the month whether the summer tour to Japan will go ahead having extended the contract of the head coach, Eddie Jones, until the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Jones, who is in Japan where his wife is visiting her family, said he signed up for another three years because he had unfinished business with England, who were beaten by South Africa in the World Cup final last year.

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Belgian league set to be abandoned with leaders Club Brugge awarded title
  • League expected to officially end season on 15 April
  • Brugge would also qualify for Champions League

The Belgian league has become the first major European competition to recommend ending its season with the current standings declared final because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Related: Pay cuts, furlough or deferrals: what are the Premier League clubs doing?

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Open postponement possible but R&A says no final decision is made

The R&A’s chief executive, Martin Slumbers, has admitted postponement of the Open Championship this year is a possibility, but no final decision has yet been taken on the fate of the July event at Royal St George’s.

A report in the United States has claimed the Open was on the brink of cancellation because of the coronavirus crisis. Last week it was clear the major would at least follow the lead of the Masters and US PGA Championship by postponing. Scheduling issues, television commitments, insurance and the fact St Andrews is due to stage the 150th playing of the Open next summer are all relevant factors.

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England cricketer Ben Stokes signs up to race in virtual F1 grand prix
  • Stokes and Charles Leclerc join lineup for second virtual race
  • McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz take pay cuts

The England cricketer Ben Stokes will take on five Formula One drivers, including Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, in the sport’s second virtual grand prix this weekend.

Stokes, the World Cup winning all-rounder and BBC sports personality of the year, will team up with Thailand’s Alexander Albon in the Red Bull lineup. McLaren’s Lando Norris and the Williams pairing of George Russell and Nicholas Latifi will also be competing, along with the retired racer and TV pundit Johnny Herbert.

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Second-tier sport video games, toilet roll skills and Scotland v Netherlands | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features a rugby league rumpus and a thwarted horse’s previous endeavours

1) While most of us are cooped up indoors, it’s a great time to dig out old games consoles from the attic to reaquaint yourselves with some old favourites. Or, indeed, to check out some that are … less classic.

Sure, there’s Sensible World of Soccer and Fifa, but there’s also Tehkan World Cupplay it here … and Kick And Run … and Dream Soccer ’94 or indeed Alpha Denshi’s Exciting Soccer from 1983. If you still have Flash, Roby Baggio’s Magical Kicks is willing and able to distract you for whole evenings and weekends (if not, here’s a clip) … failing that, there’s always Nihon’s Free Kick.

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Norway's hazmat booksellers: keeping Oslo reading during coronavirus - video

Two Oslo bookshop owners choose to go delivery-only to keep their business afloat at the start of lockdown. Pil Cappelen Smith and Anders Cappelen deliver books wearing full hazmat suits and gas masks in order to raise local awareness of the seriousness of the situation. But as the global crisis worsens, they embark on one last delivery run before deciding to shut up shop completely

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No TV, no sat nav, no internet: how to fix space's junk problem – video

As Elon Musk's Starlink and Jeff Bezos's Project Kuiper race to create high-speed internet using satellites orbiting Earth, there's a small problem that could get in the way: debris. From dead spacecraft that have been around since the dawn of the space age to flecks of paint smashing windows on the International Space Station, rubbish is clogging up our orbits. And with objects moving as fast as 15,500mph (25,000 kmph), the satellite services we've come to depend on are at constant risk of collision. So how to fix the problem with junk in space? Ian Anderson investigates

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Coronavirus cabaret: the online show combating social isolation – video

How can a community keep in touch when it can’t physically be together? A group of performers have set up what they say is the first global cabaret to tackle the social isolation of coronavirus lockdowns. Getting ready for the show, activist Dan Glass says there is a lot to learn from his own HIV diagnosis, which left him socially isolated for years

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How Trump has reacted to journalists questioning his handling of the coronavirus crisis – video

With Donald Trump under increasing scrutiny over his approach to the coronavirus crisis in the US, the president has used his daily press briefings to lash out at the media. With more than 165,000 recorded cases, the US is now the worst-affected country in the world. 

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How the resale revolution is reshaping fashion – video explainer

We're buying more clothes than ever, but it's not all fast fashion. More than half of 25- to 34-year-olds buy secondhand or vintage clothes, and resale apps such as Depop, Stock X and Vestiaire Collective are tapping into the millennial and generation Z market. But if people are buying secondhand they're not buying new. Grace Shutti investigates how the fashion world is responding

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Who is most at risk from coronavirus and why? – video explainer

The best thing to do when trying to understand a new virus like Covid-19 is to look at the data. The Guardian's science correspondent Hannah Devlin uses the latest figures to explain who is most at risk of contracting this coronavirus, why men are more likely to die from the disease, and the reasons health workers could be particularly vulnerable

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Businesses warned they could lose insurance on closed premises

Many must take measures such as sealing letterboxes to ensure they stay insured in lockdown

Millions of small businesses and other bodies forced to shut their premises have been warned they could be left uninsured unless they take certain measures, such as sealing up letterboxes.

Most commercial buildings insurance policies cease to offer full cover once the building has been unoccupied for 30 days.

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Man held over death of woman found near Plaistow church

Metropolitan police say man, 21, in custody on suspicion of murdering Kelly Stewart, 41

Police investigating the murder of a 41-year-old woman in east London last week have arrested a man.

The Metropolitan police said a 21-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday night on suspicion of murdering Kelly Stewart and remains in custody at an east London police station.

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British Gas braces for steep drop in revenues because of coronavirus

Owner Centrica says business accounts have closed sites and warns many households will delay payments

British Gas is bracing for a steep fall in revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic, as households delay paying their bills and its business customers close their sites.

The owner of Britain’s largest energy supplier abandoned its cash flow forecasts for the year because it cannot predict how many households will be able to pay their energy bills, or how long they may defer payments to weather the coronavirus lockdown.

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House sparrows flocking back to British gardens, survey shows

RSPB’s Big Garden Watch finds numbers rising, along with coal tits, wrens and long-tailed tits

The decline of the house sparrow in British gardens appears to be reversing, according to the latest RSPB national garden survey.

As well as a rise in house sparrows, the milder winter also brought long-tailed tits, wrens and coal tits to British gardens in huge numbers this year.

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National Express coach services to be suspended on Sunday

No more journeys after midnight on 5 April as coronavirus lockdown takes its toll on passenger numbers

National Express will suspend coach services from midnight on Sunday after government measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus hit demand from travellers.

Like other transport operators, the company has already reduced services and experienced a fall in passenger numbers as people heed government advice to make essential journeys only.

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Casino company Caesars Entertainment fined record £13m

Gambling Commission penalty relates to VIP schemes that reward heavy gambling

A casino company has been fined a record £13m by the Gambling Commission for failures relating to VIP schemes that the regulator is considering banning.

Three senior managers at Caesars Entertainment, which has 11 casinos in UK cities and seaside towns, will also lose their licence to run a gambling business.

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Lockdown eases seasonal smog – but less than expected

Air quality index peaks at three across England and Wales, but wood fires and farming continue to cause pollution

We think of spring as the time of blossom and fresh new green growth, but it is often the most polluted time of year in western Europe. Last week, as winds turned easterly, particle pollution once again spread across western Europe. Spring smogs can cause particle pollution to reach the top value of 10 in the UK air quality index, but four to nine is more typical.

With the lockdown in place, the increases were less than normal. The air quality index peaked at three over most of England and Wales. A few places in south-east England, Yorkshire and north Wales reached four, the level where health advisory messages are issued. After three days, a welcome change of wind direction at the weekend pushed the polluted air southwards.

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Jack Schofield, Guardian's Ask Jack tech columnist, dies at 72

Paper’s editor says Schofield was ‘one of the first true computing experts in British journalism’

Jack Schofield, the Guardian’s former computer editor and author of its technology advice column, Ask Jack, for almost 20 years, has died aged 72.

Schofield was taken to hospital following a heart attack on Friday night and died on Tuesday afternoon.

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Daniel Pearl murder: Pakistani court overturns death sentence of accused

British-born Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh could be released from prison within days

A British-born Islamist militant facing execution for the 2002 kidnapping and murder of the Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl may walk free after a court in Pakistan commuted his sentence, and acquitted three co-accused.

Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was convicted of masterminding Pearl’s murder, and sentenced to death in 2002. He has been in jail ever since awaiting the outcome of a series of appeals and legal arguments.

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Singer Adam Schlesinger, of Fountains of Wayne, dead at 52 of coronavirus

Fellow songwriters pay tribute to award-winning musician behind Stacy’s Mom and songs for film and TV

Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger: a bona fide pop genius

The award-winning singer-songwriter Adam Schlesinger, best known for his work with US rock band Fountains of Wayne, has reportedly died at the age of 52 after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

He died on Wednesday morning, according to Variety.

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Secret footage shows calves from Ireland beaten and kicked in France

Video by activists appears to show cruel treatment of weeks-old cattle transported on long journeys to Europe for veal

Footage which appears to show Irish calves being beaten and kicked at a French feeding station has been published by animal campaign groups.

The video, published by Eyes on Animals (EoA) and French welfare organisation L214, appears to show workers repeatedly beating calves that are a few weeks old with sticks. One is kicked and another is dragged away, unable to stand. The calf was euthanised by a vet, said an EoA observer.

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Fashion brands' cancellation of £2.4bn orders ‘catastrophic’ for Bangladesh

Garment workers left ‘abandoned’ by move to cut losses in wake of coronavirus crisis by retailers including Primark and Edinburgh Woollen Mill

More than a million Bangaldeshi garment workers have been sent home without pay or have lost their jobs after western clothing brands cancelled or suspended £2.4bn of existing orders in the wake of the Covid-19 epidemic, according to data from the Bangladeshi and Garment Exporters Association (BGMEA).

Primark and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill are among retailers that have collectively cancelled £1.4bn and suspended an additional £1bn of orders as they scramble to minimise losses. This includes nearly £1.3bn of orders that were already in production or had been completed, according to BGMEA.

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Cop26 climate talks in Glasgow postponed until 2021

Crucial UN conference will be delayed until next year as a result of the coronavirus crisis

The UN climate talks due to be held in Glasgow later this year have been postponed as governments around the world struggle to halt the spread of coronavirus.

The most important climate negotiations since the Paris agreement in 2015 were scheduled to take place this November to put countries back on track to avoid climate breakdown. They will now be pushed back to 2021.

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'You think Trump will save you?': my nine days detained by North Korea's secret police

Alek Sigley was studying in Pyongyang when he was blindfolded and taken to an interrogation facility where his handlers demanded he confess to his ‘crimes’

“Do you know what day it is?” asked the man as we sat in the black Mercedes-Benz that had whisked me from the foreign student dormitory at Kim Il-sung university, where I had been living in the North Korean capital Pyongyang. I knew full well, but he answered his own question: “It’s the day the US imperialists invaded and started the war.”

It was Tuesday 25 June, and the start of my nine long days of interrogation at the hands of the North Korean ministry of state security – or at least that’s who I believed it was, as they never revealed who they actually were.

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Canada shocked by double murder of Indigenous hunters

Two Métis men were found shot dead in rural Alberta after what police believe was an ambush

Police in Canada are investigating the murders of two Indigenous men who they suspect were ambushed after returning from a successful hunt in rural Alberta.

The bodies of Jake Sansom, 39, and his uncle Morris Cardinal, 57, were found early on 28 March beside Sansom’s pickup truck on a country road near Glendon, a farming town 160 miles north-east of Edmonton. Both had gunshot wounds.

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Viktor Orbán ditches mayor plan amid claims of coronavirus power grab

Hungary’s prime minister criticised for inefficient and unworkable measures

Hungary’s nationalist government announced measures to strip the country’s mayors of political autonomy, before appearing to ditch them hours later, the latest episode in a political drama in which the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, has been accused of using the coronavirus to mount a power grab.

On Monday, Hungary’s parliament passed a law that gives Orbán the right to rule by decree for an indefinite period and also criminalises intentionally spreading false information about coronavirus with up to five years in prison. The move was roundly criticised by Orbán’s domestic and international critics.

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I've never seen … any James Bond film | Hadley Freeman

Continuing our series in which writers rectify gaps in their film education, Hadley Freeman finally pops her 007 cherry with the ‘Bondiest Bond’ – The Spy Who Loved Me

I first became aware of James Bond in 1989, which was not, I have since learned from Bondologists, a vintage Bond era. Two film posters were ubiquitous that summer: the first was for Batman, starring Michael Keaton, and the second was for Licence to Kill, starring Timothy Dalton. In the months leading up to the release of these films, I watched their trailers seemingly hundreds of times: they were both franchises about a superhero (because, really, what else is the ageless, unkillable Bond by this point?); both featured a good guy with a gun killing a lot of bad guys with guns; both lightened the bloodshed with a sprinkling of winking jokes. Yet while I queued up to see Batman the day it was released and have watched it about 3,000 times since, I not only never saw Licence to Kill but I have never watched a single Bond movie, ever. Honestly, the whole Bond thing repelled me then and repels me now.

Let’s get this out of the way: it’s not the sexism. I don’t care that the character is a tedious sexist anachronism who shags everything, especially, if he’s played by Roger Moore and said thing is 30 years younger than him. He’s from a different era – I get it. But he’s such a little boy’s idea of sexy machismo, with those absurd dinner jackets and perfect hair and all that wankiness about martinis. He’s an issue of GQ come to life, and you know he smells of terrible Armani colognes, just like GQ does. The comedy in Batman was genuinely funny and self-satirical: “Can somebody tell me what kind of world we live in where a man dressed up as a bat gets all of my press?”. But Bond’s humour is self-serving and self-satisfied, the kind beloved by people who belong to private members’ clubs. In short: “Let me tell you a joke that will make me look marvellous and all the rest of you stupid and little.” In his 2006 book on Bond, The Man Who Saved Britain, Simon Winder claims this is a reflection of Britain’s psyche after the loss of empire: a desire to believe that Britain – in this case, represented by Bond – was still the coolest cat in the room. I’m sure Winder is right, that Bond is basically Britain in breakdown mode. But like all breakdowns, it’s painful to watch.

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PJ Harvey: where to start with her back catalogue

Our Listener’s Digest series continues with the raw and anarchic songcraft of the two-time Mercury prize winner

Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)

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'House of Leaves changed my life': the cult novel at 20

The nightmarish tale of a house that is bigger on the inside than the outside still inspires devotion. Fans, and the author, share what it means to them

The origin of Mark Z Danielewski’s debut novel House of Leaves sounds like something from the book itself: a messy bundle of papers that circulated in an underground scene before being officially published by Pantheon Books in March 2000. The novel quickly gained a cult following, and was praised for its experiments with typography, labyrinthine design and strange story centred on one man’s discovery that his new family home is larger on the inside than the outside, by one inch.

Related: House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski review - genuinely exciting

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Poachers turned gamekeepers: when film critics get behind the camera

They are happy to trash movies from the comfort of their typewriters, but what happens when critics put their money where their mouth is?

It was at the London premiere of Shakespeare in Love in 1999 that Henry Fitzherbert decided to seize his chance and make the leap from film reviewer of the Sunday Express to Hollywood screenwriter. Buttonholing the movie’s producer, Harvey Weinstein, he pitched him an adaptation he had written of Stephen Benatar’s amnesia thriller Recovery. “He told me to get it to his hotel suite by 6am and he’d read it on the plane home,” Fitzherbert recalls. “Then I got a call from his New York office saying he loved it and I thought: ‘I’m going to be an overnight success!’ I was summoned to a meeting with his senior exec in London, given ‘notes’, which I worked on for months – and never heard from any of them again. As people say, it’s not the rejections that kill you, it’s the hope.”

Nearly two decades later, Fitzherbert finally moved decisively from reviewing to screenwriting when two of his scripts – the historical drama Born a King and the horror-comedy Slaughterhouse Rulez, co-written with the former Kula Shaker frontman Crispian Mills – went into production in 2017. Though, as he points out, the career change was “not by choice but design: the paper had let me go”. Rather satisfyingly, the first day of principal photography on Born a King happened to coincide with his final one as a reviewer. “I left the screening room in Soho, drove to Hatfield House and walked on to the set of my debut film where a cast and crew of 200 were bringing my screenplay to life on an extraordinary scale. I couldn’t have dreamed up a better ‘fuck you’ to the paper.”

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From barges to barricades: the changing meaning of 'lockdown'

How did canal terminology become a word for enforced isolation?

Countries around the world have gone into “lockdown” to slow the spread of coronavirus, though some lockdowns are more permeable than others, and no one has yet been forcibly barricaded inside their homes. So why “lockdown” in the first place?

“Lock” is an old Germanic word for a lock or other fastening mechanism, or a space enclosed by such a mechanism, which is why a lock in modern English is also a barrier in a canal. To “lock in” (a person in a chamber) or to “lock up” (originally the chamber or door itself) date from the 15th and 16th centuries, but a “lockdown” is much more recent.

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Now I’m Fine review – candid gem mixes standup and mesmerising music

Available online
Ahamefule J Oluo’s 2014 show about having an autoimmune disease is a moving hybrid of comedy, theatre and jazz

Since venues closed their doors because of the coronavirus, a wealth of online theatre has emerged and the industry is finding quick, creative ways to bring the stage to screen. But alongside the new, it is worth diving into the archives to find buried treasure.

Ahamefule J Oluo’s innovative show Now I’m Fine is one such gem. Originally staged at Seattle’s Moore theatre in 2014, and streaming at OntheBoards.tv, it has been dubbed a “standup big-band autobiography” for its original, hybrid form. It feels new in content too, speaking to our precarious times and bolstering the spirit.

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Back to the future: why are we opting for nostalgic pop culture?

From rewatching 1990s TV shows to replaying classic computer games, taking the safe option when it comes to entertainment can help audiences rediscover themselves

Never before has civilisation produced so much new pop culture. From the plethora of TV shows on competing streaming platforms to the seemingly infinite choice offered by online music and gaming services, the wealth of new material being released each month is staggering. Yet when it comes to cultural consumption, audiences are increasingly choosing to seek out classic, safe bets – forgoing the next big thing in favour of the last big thing.

According to UK media watchdog Ofcom, the single most-watched programme in the first quarter of 2019 was the 1990s sitcom Friends. In the US, the top Netflix spot has long been held by the US version of the Office, which first aired 15 years ago. Meanwhile at the box office, sequels and reboots abound. Last year’s top five grossing films in the UK included the remake of the Lion King, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX – the Rise of Skywalker.

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Take the safe option: it's time to ditch edgy fads

There’s no shame in doing something you know to be great. Alexi Duggins explains why playing it safe is a smarter step

Has there ever been a more underrated word in the English language than “safe”? For something that is fundamentally a good thing, people can be weirdly dismissive about it. Eyes are rolled at workplace health and safety as though it’s somehow uncool to not lose a hand to poorly maintained machinery. Romcoms lazily wield it as an unflattering cliche: “Oh, I don’t know. My award-winning humanitarian of a partner is perfect in every conceivable way – but they’re just so … safe, you know?”

Meanwhile, there’s no bigger cliche than being edgy just for the sake of trend-chasing. Over the past two decades, the fad for extreme sports has reached (and plummeted from) ever-crazier heights. Our fetishisation of high-risk, high-wire living has even spread to dining, with foodies flocking to increasingly ridiculous eateries simply because they look cool on social media. How many times have our friends told us they tried out a Hot New Place that wasn’t actually very good – while we pity their gullibility and coo soothing words such as: “Oh what a shame that insect-based menu wasn’t actually that delicious.”

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From Fomo to Jomo: why I now prefer a life less risky

Having once lived life as a high-stakes game, Nirpal Dhaliwal has turned his back on the lemming-like pursuit of high-octane moments. He explains the rich rewards of embracing safety

As a young man, I relished the sharp tang of risk; that piquant charge that accompanies the taste of a first, preferably illicit, kiss, or when stepping off a plane in an unknown city to find hazardous sport among strangers.

Life was a high-stakes game in which it was always best to twist – never to stick. True pleasure, I mistakenly thought, came always at the chance of a painful price. Relationships, money, even my health, were all things I was happy to wager in this endless pursuit of an explosive experience.

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Driven to distraction: how cars that take control are helping drivers

With lack of attention behind the wheel one of the major causes of traffic accidents, advanced driver assistance systems have become the focus of vehicle safety design. And these devices are already proving their worth

Who hasn’t found their attention straying behind the wheel? Modern life is riddled with distractions that fight tooth and nail for our attention – whether it’s noisy children, garish adverts, tiredness, traffic cameras, personal pressures, endless to-do lists or those digital devices and social media notifications that we forgot to switch to silent. We always seem to be spreading our attention too thinly or are exhausted from having to think 10 different thoughts.

Driver distraction is a major cause of road traffic accidents. According to the UK’s Department for Transport, driver or rider error or reaction (failing to look properly, loss of control and poor manoeuvring) was cited as a contributory factor in 63% of fatalities in reported road accidents in 2018.

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10 of the best places to revisit after lockdown: readers' travel tips

Some places stand as monuments to recovery, others inspire our readers with their beauty – or the wisdom of the ancients

Ten years ago we were at Epidaurus, and each took turns to descend to the orchestra and read from Sophocles or Euripides – among the wisest writers of all time. It’s been a turbulent 10 years for Greece and for us. When the dust has settled it would be good to revisit and remind ourselves of some of the eternal wisdoms and pleasures.
Mary O’Keeffe

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The new rules of lockdown: how to stay clean, safe and two metres away from everyone

Is it OK to say hello to your neighbour; should you disinfect your bank card regularly; and do woolly gloves offer any protection?

We face, among other more existential challenges, a whole new set of rules. Coronavirus has turned etiquette on its head and what once were gestures of friendship are now acts of daring. Fundamentally, society used to run on the idea that we were all welcome in one another’s space; suddenly, civility amounts to how much distance we keep between ourselves, and how much we shield others from our presence. It is one hell of a gear shift. And it is also important not to overcorrect, not to judge one another from a thousand yards, not to needlessly insult one another in situations that are not, actually, that endangering. Courtesy has never been more serious: it is the way we signal that we still care about each other, when we’re not allowed to hug. So here are some answers to the questions that we are increasingly asking.

This social distancing thing: how should I walk down the pavement? In the middle? On the left? On the right? Or next to the street so I can get right out of people’s way?

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Why I'm celebrating the women in lockdown who get all dressed up with nowhere to go

Rihanna shows how it’s done with her durag on the cover of this month’s Vogue, while the #DontRushChallenge showcases black women’s makeup skills in all its diverse glory. I’m off to find a lipstick to match my slippers ...

Rihanna, the reigning queen of stay-at-home couture, made history yesterday, appearing on the cover of British Vogue in a durag, the choice of bedtime headwear for many black people. Way ahead of last year’s nightwear as a daywear trend, she previously donned one covered in Swarovski crystals at the CFDA awards in 2014. In 2013, she wore a doobie wrap – a common interim style black women use to keep freshly treated hair intact during the night – at the American Music awards. Her taste in headgear makes me feel much more chic as I work from home in a polyester durag and oversized shirt.

I miss going out, but I miss getting ready to go out probably just as much, if not more. And it’s not just me – as the #OOTD hashtag declines during lockdown, the @wfhfits Instagram account, which documents the showstopping outfits contributors are wearing to work from home, is now 18.4k strong. The #DontRushChallenge takes this to the next level. Started by Twitter user @lase_asoloo, participants go from drab to fab in the (slickly edited) tap of a makeup brush. Much like the DMX Challenge – which last year saw women showcasing various hairstyles synced to the 46 names the rapper lists on his song What They Really Want – the #DontRushChallenge is dominated by #blackgirlmagic and has been an utter joy to watch.

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Hunting, meth and big cats: Tiger King's rarely seen version of southern queerness

Who could have guessed that a mullet-wearing, polyamorous exotic animal owner would become TV’s most talked-about gay star?

In the early 2000s, the most popular queer characters on TV were Jack McFarland and Will Truman of the sitcom Will & Grace. Will and Jack were so beloved, Vice-President Joe Biden once theorized the show had played a major role in shifting views on marriage equality. The characters were also the start of a trope that would prevail on TV for years: the cosmopolitan gay male. The image would live on in shows such as Queer as Folk, Looking, and the reality competitions Project Runway and America’s Next Top Model. Who could imagine that 20 years on, a mullet-wearing, gay, polyamorous exotic animal owner from rural Oklahoma would become TV’s biggest talked about gay star?

Joe Exotic, the eccentric subject of the Netflix docu-series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness, has amassed a fervent following in the short time since the show’s premiere on Friday. The rapper Cardi B live-tweeted her reactions and expressed a desire to start a GoFundMe campaign for Mr Exotic, whose full name Wikipedia gives as Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage (né Schreibvogel). Fans have taken to dressing up as Joe, slapping on fake handlebar mustaches and blond mullet wigs. And actors such as Dax Shepard and Jared Leto are pitching themselves to play the gun-loving zookeeper in a forthcoming scripted miniseries. Amid the anxiety of the coronavirus pandemic, we are finding humor and relief in an imperfect, self-described “redneck” queer who owns more than 200 tigers. He’s the furthest cry from the affable, anodyne queer men who typically win America over, such as Cam and Mitchell of Modern Family and the “gay best friend” cast of Queer Eye. But unlikely times call for an unlikely hero.

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What wildlife can you see from your home?

If you are locked down in an urban area due to coronavirus, we want to know what flora and fauna you can see from your home

Locked down in a city? What can you see out of the window?

We would love you to share your photos of the wildlife you can see from your home. Did a fox just dart out into the road? Is there a bumble bee sidling up to your 10th floor flat? Can you see a rare flower pushing its way up in a crack in the pavement? Cities are full of flora and fauna and with the streets largely empty of traffic and people the signs of urban wildlife are more evident than ever.

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How are you affected by coronavirus in the South West of the UK?

If you live in the south-west England or Wales, we’d like to find out about the impact of coronavirus on you and your community. Share your stories

You can help us document about how coronavirus is affecting people in the South West and Wales by sharing your stories and news tips.

We want to hear from people working in the healthcare system in Wales and the south west of England, key workers, small business owners, teachers and anyone whose daily life is affected by the new measures.

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Send us a tip on your favourite travel souvenir for a chance to win £200 towards a Sawday's stay

Tell us about something you picked up on your travels that brings back great memories or takes you back in time

Given that we’re all stuck at home for who knows how long, our travel memories are especially poignant. So this week we want you tell us about a souvenir or memento you picked up on your travels that has a special place in your heart or still brings a smile to your face. It could evoke happy memories of the trip itself, or be all about the place you bought it – a magical shop, a colourful market stall or the even more colourful owner. Perhaps it’s a unique, beautiful artefact that now has pride of place in your home.

Please ensure your tip stays around 100 words.

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How are you helping others during the coronavirus outbreak?

If you’re part of a grassroots community project to support others during the coronavirus outbreak, we’d like to hear from you. Share your stories

We’d like to hear from people who’re taking part in community action to help others during the coronavirus outbreak.

As Covid-19 spreads around the world it’s easy to get swept up in a sense of fear as multiple images of cleared supermarket shelves go viral. However many groups of volunteers are coming together to lend a helping hand to those in need.

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'We’re a part of the spread': flight attendant's guilt over Covid-19

Gabrielle Wilson of Air Canada started feeling ill after flying back from Frankfurt. After a positive test and quarantine she is left with anxiety and guilt for infecting her family

Gabrielle Wilson was enjoying a walk with her children on a brisk spring afternoon, when she was overcome by an overwhelming feeling of weakness.

“It hit me like a ton of bricks. I had to sit down on the sidewalk,” said the veteran flight attendant. Throbbing muscle pains cascaded through her body, accompanied by an “eerie dry throat” that she had never before experienced.

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'It’s a place where they try to destroy you': why concentration camps are still with us

Mass internment camps did not begin or end with the Nazis – today they are everywhere from China to Europe to the US. How can we stop their spread? By Daniel Trilling

At the start of the 21st century, the following things did not exist. In the US, a large network of purpose-built immigration prisons, some of which are run for profit. In western China, “political education” camps designed to hold hundreds of thousands of people, supported by a high-tech surveillance system. In Syria, a prison complex dedicated to the torture and mass execution of civilians. In north-east India, a detention centre capable of holding 3,000 people who may have lived in the country for decades but are unable to prove they are citizens. In Myanmar, rural encampments where thousands of people are being forced to live on the basis of their ethnicity. On small islands and in deserts at the edges of wealthy regions – Greece’s Aegean islands, the Negev Desert in Israel, the Pacific Ocean near Australia, the southern Mediterranean coastline – various types of large holding centres for would-be migrants.

The scale and purpose of these places vary considerably, as do the political regimes that have created them, but they share certain things in common. Most were established as temporary or “emergency” measures, but have outgrown their original stated purpose and become seemingly permanent. Most exist thanks to a mix of legal ambiguity – detention centres operating outside the regular prison system, for instance – and physical isolation. And most, if not all, have at times been described by their critics as concentration camps.

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The village still suffering from Peru mercury spill fallout – after 20 years

When the people of Choropampa saw a bright, silvery liquid on the road, they imagined it was valuable. Two decades on, the toxic truth is all too apparent

When a truck spilled mercury from a gold mine on the dirt road outside her house, Francisca Guarniz Imelda scooped it up with her bare hands, thinking it had healing powers.

She took it home to her mud-brick house in Choropampa, in Peru’s northern Cajamarca region. The heat of the day vaporised some of the mercury, contaminating the walls and ceiling with the toxic metal.

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‘A beautiful thing’: the African migrants getting healthy food to Italians

After years of exploitation, former fruit pickers set up a co-operative near Rome selling vegetables and yoghurt. Now they are working ‘twice as hard’ to get supplies to families under lockdown

  • Photographs by Giacomo Sini

Ismail bends over the vegetables in the middle of the field and shouts to his co-worker – “Lorè you’re doing nothing and your back already hurts?” – as he deftly separates a head of cauliflower from its long leaves and throws it into a waiting box.

His co-workers Lorenzo and Cheikh also get up, lifting boxes packed with produce after their morning’s work. Today the sun is shining here in Italy but there is no time to pause and enjoy it. Salad and spinach picked from other fields must be washed alongside the cabbages and cauliflowers; boxes for delivery have to be readied and loaded into the van.

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'Thank you Greta': natural solutions to UK flooding climb the agenda

People are increasingly looking to restore the soil’s ability to retain water, planting trees and hedges, and creating relief channels to tackle the recurring threat of high waters

There is ponding on nearly every field in the valley where the rivers Severn and Vyrnwy meet on the English-Welsh border. Swollen rivers have been sluggishly sitting in the valley for months. Inhabitants’ attempts to protect their homes from flooding are part of a losing battle played out across the country.

The UK’s flooding this year is a story of desperation – but also hope, says John Hughes, development manager at Shropshire Wildlife Trust, who works in the valley. Following widespread acceptance of the climate and ecological emergency, Hughes believes people are increasingly looking to nature for solutions.

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How coronavirus has halted Central American migration to the US

Border closures and strict lockdowns have led to a steep decline in the number of migrants coming from Central America

When Angelica turned 30, she realized there was no future for her in Honduras.

Although she had a college degree, she was still living paycheck to paycheck and was stuck in a neighborhood of the capital Tegucigalpa ruled by violent gangs.

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Lions, surfers and a coronavirus rap: Thursday's best photos

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

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Eddie Large – a life in pictures

Large, from comedy duo Little and Large, has died from coronavirus aged 78. Here’s a look back at his career

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High noon in a coronavirus-stricken world - in pictures

Lockdowns have brought silence to some of the world’s busiest places. Transport hubs normally teeming with people such as New York’s Grand Central station or Istanbul’s Eminönü ferry docks are all but deserted. Reuters photographers captured the hush that had descended on some of the world’s best-known places on the same day, at noon

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Rinchen Ato's best photograph: Tibetan twins and their albino rabbits

‘These girls from Qinghai in China got albino rabbits for their birthdays. But albino rabbits don’t like harsh climates. They didn’t last the winter’

My father is a Tibetan lama. When he was still just a baby, he was recognised as a tulku, a reincarnation of a Tibetan Buddhist teacher. He lives in the UK now. He met my mother in Dalhousie, India, when she was teaching English to Tibetan refugees. They fell in love and he gave up his monastic vows, but being a tulku isn’t something you can give up. It is who you are.

He is still the head of a monastery in Kham, Qinghai, so when we are there, it’s a busy time – we get invited to a lot of houses. I was seven the first time I went. As an adult, I started going back regularly, to see friends and family. I always take my camera. I have been photographing Lhamo Tsertso and Lobsang Chödron, the daughters of a close family friend, since they were two or three. I have made portraits of them every year that I’ve been back since. They’re 19 now.

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Nifty nonagenarians and disappearing mums – in pictures

From romcoms filmed in remote parts of Russia to the Bolivia’s wrestling women, the 2020 Zeiss photography award focused on discovery

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Covid-19: signs of hope on Edinburgh's streets - in pictures

Pictures of rainbows have begun appearing in windows up and down the country as families and households work to stay positive during the lockdown. The posters, many drawn or painted by children, often contain messages of support for the NHS. Further, inspired by the popular children’s book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, teddy bears have also been on display. Photographer Murdo MacLeod went on a hunt of his own on the streets of Edinburgh

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