Raw sewage was discharged for more than 1,000 hours from a Thames Water overflow pipe into an environmental wetland at the Olympic Park last year, the Guardian can reveal.
The combined sewer overflow (CSO) at Mulberry Court pumped untreated waste 91 times into the waterway that feeds into the River Lea. To April this year, the same CSO has so far discharged for 34 hours in 20 incidents.
Boris Johnson will issue a sombre plea to the public to behave responsibly when pubs, bars and restaurants reopen in England on Saturday, warning them, “we are not out of the woods yet”.
The prime minister will give a televised press conference on Friday, as the government struggles to strike a balance between protecting jobs by reopening key sectors of the economy and preventing a second wave of coronavirus infections.
Activist says he fled city because he faced ‘unknown dangers’ under national security law
Nathan Law, one of Hong Kong’s leading democracy campaigners, has left the city, as protestors and other residents weigh up their future and wait for Britain to lay out details of its offer of a path to citizenship.
Law said on social media that he had left Hong Kong for an undisclosed location because he faced “unknown dangers”, after China brought in a sweeping national security law for the city that criminalises much of the protest movement.
The former KGB officer, who has ruled Russia for more than two decades as president or prime minister, handily won the controversial plebiscite granting him the right to run for two more six-year terms after the current one ends in 2024. Critics have challenged the result, saying that the voting was rigged to produce a landslide.
The owner of the Bella Italia, Café Rouge and Las Iguanas restaurant chains has collapsed into administration, with the immediate loss of 1,900 jobs.
The Casual Dining Group has appointed the advisory firm AlixPartners to handle the administration, which is expected to result in the breakup of the group and the streamlined chains sold off to new investors. The company said multiple offers were on the table but buyers did not want to acquire all the existing sites and 91 of its 250 outlets would remain permanently closed.
Exclusive: PR company failed to tell local newspapers it was working for British American Tobacco
A PR campaign against council stop-smoking services, which has led to reports in local papers across England, is funded by British American Tobacco, the Guardian can reveal.
The PR agency Pagefield last week sent news outlets press releases that appeared to attempt to discredit NHS and council stop-smoking services, which are understood to create vast net savings nationally by helping people kick the habit. Pagefield did not initially say it was working on behalf of the manufacturer of cigarette brands including Camel, Pall Mall and Dunhill.
EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier complained of lack of respect and engagement by UK
The latest negotiations in Brussels on an EU-UK trade and security deal have broken up early, with the EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, complaining of a lack of respect and engagement by the British government.
The two sides ended the week’s talks – the first held in person since February – a day ahead of the jointly agreed schedule amid evident frustration at the lack of progress in bridging what both Barnier and his UK counterpart, David Frost, described as “serious” disagreements.
Leon Panetta becomes latest prominent public figure to accuse Trump of effectively surrendering to the virus and abandoning Americans to their fate
Donald Trump has “essentially gone awol from the job of leadership that he should be providing a country in trouble” during the coronavirus pandemic, a former defence secretary and CIA director said on Wednesday.
Pupils starting secondary school in England may need to be “retaught” subjects they missed during the coronavirus lockdown, while others may learn a narrower range of subjects or drop GCSE courses to help them catch up, according to the government’s official guidance for schools reopening in September.
However, Gavin Williamson, the education secretary for England, rejected suggestions that pupils would not be taught a full curriculum when they returned, despite the Department for Education’s guidance detailing “exceptional circumstances” in which pupils would instead focus on English and maths.
Editor and scientist say their children’s debuts on live TV were mortifying but positive
When their children walked on screen during live news broadcasts, they were mortified, but now two professional women are hoping their experience will send a positive message about working parents.
Sky News’s foreign affairs editor, Deborah Haynes, said she “wanted the ground to swallow her” when her four-year-old son gatecrashed a live broadcast, but had been overwhelmed by the positive reaction of viewers and working parents.
The government has provided an emergency loan to a Cardiff-based steel producer in the first taxpayer-funded bailout under its “Project Birch” scheme for firms struggling during the coronavirus crisis.
Stepping in as the economic fallout intensifies, the government said it was lending to Celsa Steel UK to enable the firm to keep operating, and to secure more than 1,000 jobs at the company, including more than 800 positions at its main sites in South Wales.
Leicester’s outbreak of Covid-19 was identified because of NHS test and trace, not in spite of it, according to Dido Harding who leads the programme.
“It is precisely because of NHS test and trace that we’ve been able to identify this outbreak early and take the right action,” said Harding. “We have been working really closely with the local health protection teams and the local authority over the last few weeks.”
As residents trickled into an ominous new coronavirus testing marquee in Bradford’s city centre on Thursday, there was apprehension about what to expect following news about high infection rates in the city.
“It’s very, very worrying,” said taxi driver Mohammed Rashid, 68. “For the last nearly three months I’ve been at home, and there’s barely any work now because not many people are coming to Bradford. If there’s a second lockdown, it will be devastating.”
Acclaimed cultural institution, once named ‘regional theatre of the year’, announces that 86 staff roles have been made redundant
Nuffield Southampton Theatres (NST), a major cultural institution in the region and beyond, is to permanently close. Eighty-six staff roles have been made redundant by the closure, one of the starkest signs yet of the escalating damage done to the UK’s theatre industry during the coronavirus crisis.
The theatre, which has run for more than 50 years, went into administration in May after suffering a severe drop in ticket sales from its temporary closure during the pandemic and uncertainty about its reopening date. Buyers were sought from the south-coast office of Smith & Williamson, who said it had “received 30-plus expressions of interest, with 19 non-disclosure agreements signed before applications were whittled down to four potential buyers”. A joint statement by Southampton City Council, Arts Council England and University of Southampton said that none of the potential buyers “demonstrated the level of sector and local knowledge, business sustainability or strategic experience required to deliver a resilient and collaborative model for the communities of Southampton, and all contained a significant level of risk”.
By the end of the century, the world’s oceans, rivers and lakes will likely be too hot for about 40% of the world’s fish species, based on just a “medium-level” estimate of expected human-caused climate change, according to a study in Thursday’s journal Science, the Associated Press reports.
Speaking of America’s cherished freedoms, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed an Associated Press report that some of the soldiers who were mobilized to Washington, D.C., last month in response to protests over the killing of George Floyd were issued bayonets.
Doctors are seeing more and more young patients – and health experts are urging young people to take the virus seriously
Until recently, the majority of coronavirus cases that Dr Quinn Snyder, an emergency doctor at one of Arizona’s largest emergency departments, saw were older people. But since mid-May, when the state’s stay-at-home order was lifted, and particularly after the Memorial Day holiday, the demographic has shifted.
Snyder says he has seen an “explosion” in cases among 20-44-year-olds.
The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul McCartney and Dua Lipa are among 1,500 musicians and bands calling for the government to take urgent action to help live music in Britain avoid collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A letter signed by artists, including Ed Sheeran, Rita Ora, Coldplay, Annie Lennox and Sam Smith, warned that the UK could lose its prime spot on the world’s musical stage unless the government commited to supporting businesses and set out a timetable for reopening live music venues.
Jamaica’s reggae megastar received a hero’s welcome when he came home after seven years in a US jail. ‘No guts, no glory – that’s my genesis,’ he says in a rare interview
At the end of 2018, the reggae star Buju Banton returned to Jamaica after almost seven years in a US prison, and Norman Manley international airport was mobbed. His flight was delayed, the chants of “We want Buju” ramped up, then after a brief prayer huddle in the customs area, he pushed into the arrivals hall to pandemonium. It took a phalanx of hi-vis-wearing airport workers to hustle him through to the waiting police motorcade, a task not helped by the workers’ attempts to get selfies with their charge.
It was a hero’s welcome because, despite being convicted in the US of intention to distribute cocaine, Banton is a Jamaican hero. For his first post-prison concert, at Kingston’s National Stadium, about 30,000 people were packed in with many more enjoying it from outside.
Most in his job end up sounding like headteachers but Williamson is stuck at floundering sixth-former
You would have thought that schools would have been fairly high up the list of the government’s priorities when lockdown was introduced back in March. That having millions of children stuck at home, reliant on online lessons and parental supervision to keep up with their schoolwork, might have raised a red flag or two at the Department for Education.
Instead, the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, and his team of ministers chose to take the lockdown as an extended furlough period. Only, unlike many others in the country, he was still on full pay as he caught up with old episodes of Pointless. So he was taken completely by surprise when the first few year groups returned to class at the beginning of June only to find that most schools were unable to comply with social distancing rules without turning large numbers of children away. Gav had had one job and he had blown it. But then, like most members of Boris Johnson’s cabinet, he was chosen for his inability rather than his ability.
The British socialite, arrested Thursday for her alleged role in disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s child sex trafficking ring, has been “hiding out in locations in New England” since the now deceased financier’s arrest last July – most recently on an 156-acre property in Bradford, New Hampshire.
NFL players kneeling in the US and Premier League stars speaking out in the UK is nothing new: sportsmen and women have always been at the forefront of the fight for civil rights
We may never know why Jake Hepple, a now unemployed welder from Burnley, thought it was a good idea to hire a plane and have it trail a banner reading “White Lives Matter Burnley” across the skies over Manchester’s Etihad Stadium. What we are assured is that Hepple – who has been pictured with his arm wrapped round the shoulder of the English Defence League’s former leader Tommy Robinson, and whose girlfriend was sacked from her job last week, accused of posting racist material on social media (her mother has said her daughter did not write the posts) – was not motivated by any form of racism. After all, he told reporters: “I’ve got lots of black and Asian friends.”
The phrase “white lives matter” is, of course, an attack on the phrase “black lives matter” and the movement that coalesced around it. But while one is a plea for equality, the other, along with the phrase “all lives matter”, was created by those who engage in the pantomime of pretending that anyone is suggesting only black lives matter. These people belong to the same demographic as those who think structural racism doesn’t exist, or that black people should “get over” slavery. And to that demographic, top-flight football’s support of Black Lives Matter really rankles.
From their time in Spandau Ballet to acting in The Krays, the Kemp brothers have remained supernaturally close. With a new mockumentary about their lives, they talk about childhood poverty, meeting Ronnie Kray and surviving fame
I’m trying to think of a more surreal experience than interviewing the Kemp brothers by Zoom – maybe seeing them together in real life?
Gary only asked Martin to be in Spandau Ballet because his younger brother (Gary is 60; Martin is 58) was the most handsome person he knew, and it remains the case that Martin looks the more polished and defined, like a CGI’d Gary. They sound the same, yet, even without looking, you can always tell who is talking. There is something practised yet intimate about their fraternal dynamic; always at pains not to exclude the outsider, they bring you in by constantly ribbing each other. “Martin, I’m sorry, you’ve come on, but I’m talking about my new album, so we haven’t got time to say hello,” Gary opens, but I suspect them throughout of communicating with one another telepathically.
China’s foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said Britain would “bear all consequences”, and China’s ambassador to the UK later said that Beijing “reserve[d] the right to take corresponding measures”.
As the prince of American alternative turns 50, we select his finest moments, from bluegrass ballads to breakup masterpieces and ‘beefcake pantyhose’
Beck’s most recent album, Hyperspace, was a missed opportunity, a gorgeously produced modern R&B album with barely any strong tunes. But See Through is good – its wash of synths paired with a staccato chorus makes it evocative of Swae Lee.
Coronavirus cases are rising, but despite the exhortations of health experts, many Texans just don’t want to wear a mask
The driver license mega center in Fort Worth closed abruptly, just minutes before 1pm on Tuesday. Staff removed the two tables outside the entrance that recorded all visitors’ contact information, health histories and performed temperature checks.
Guardian US environmental justice reporter Nina Lakhani reports on her landmark investigation into America’s water crisis, revealing that millions of Americans are facing unaffordable bills for running water and risk being disconnected or losing their homes
Guardian US environmental justice reporter Nina Lakhani tells Anushka Asthana about her water crisis investigation, which looked into why running water is becoming unaffordable for millions of Americans across the US. Water bills weigh heavily on many Americans as utilities hike prices to pay for environmental clean-ups, infrastructure upgrades and climate emergency defences to deal with floods and droughts. Federal funding for America’s ageing water system has plummeted, and as a result a growing number of households are unable to afford to pay their bills.
Albert Pickett inherited water debts from his mother after she died. Pickett applied to get on to a repayment plan, but the water department refused as he didn’t have the money, several hundred dollars, required as a deposit. Cleveland Water didn’t inform Pickett, who survives on disability benefits, about his right to appeal – instead, they turned off the taps in 2013. “Without water you can’t do anything. I lost my family, my wellbeing, my self-esteem. It was humiliating, like I was less than human,” he says.
Parliament’s intelligence and security committee produced a report into alleged Russian interference in UK politics. It was supposed to be published before December’s election, but the UK prime minister withheld its release. Now, six months later it still hasn’t seen the light of day. The Guardian’s Luke Harding investigates what could be in it and says witness testimony from an ex-MI6 officer makes uncomfortable reading for the government
A report by parliament’s intelligence and security committee into alleged Russian interference in UK politics was supposed to be published at the end of last year. But as Boris Johnson decided to call a snap election, he withheld the report promising to publish it ‘in due course’.
Now, six months later, the committee has been in hiatus and the report is still gathering dust. But the Guardian’s Luke Harding (author of a new book Shadow State)has been piecing together evidence seen by MPs in the preparation of the report. He tells Rachel Humphreys that witness testimony from the former MI6 officer Christopher Steele makes uncomfortable reading for the government.
This Saturday, lockdown measures in England will ease further, with people able to get a pint in a pub, have a haircut and see another household indoors. The Guardian’s heath editor, Sarah Boseley, looks at whether another lifting of restrictions might result in a second wave, and if it does, why we are better prepared this time round
From this Saturday, the government has said that in England, pubs, restaurants and hairdressers will be able to reopen, two households will be able to meet in any setting with physical distancing measures, and people can enjoy staycations with the reopening of accommodation sites. But with the loosening of restrictions comes fears of a second wave. Sir Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust, has said that the UK is on a “knife edge”, with the next few months set to be “critical” in managing the risk of a second peak of Covid-19.
The Guardian’s health editor, Sarah Boseley,tells Rachel Humpheys why if there is another wave of the virus, or even localised spikes across the nation, drug research, well-practised NHS staff and greater awareness of dangers mean the health service is better prepared this time round.
Scotland is right to mandate masks or similar coverings in shops. Wearing them can save lives
Wicked. Horrific. An affront to British liberties. Proposals to make wearing seatbelts compulsory were angrily opposed in the early 1970s. Some warned that it might make motorists more reckless, or endanger unborn babies. MPs claimed there was no real evidence of the benefits. Others complained it would be uncomfortable for women or the elderly. It took years of political battle to change the law, saving tens of thousands of lives.
In retrospect, the outrage looks not merely mistaken but utterly bizarre. Wearing a seatbelt is simply a matter of course now. Yet similar claims have been heard in this pandemic when it comes to wearing masks. The World Health Organization insisted there was not enough evidence to recommend their routine use, changing its advice only last month. Other officials warned that mask-wearers might be lulled into a false sense of security, and would fail to distance themselves from others. There was real and understandable concern that mass purchases would leave no protection for medics and other frontline workers who desperately needed it. But this disparagement of masks may have come at a cost.
The pandemic is about to get even more socially divisive, with people in the least economically resilient areas at most risk
Never bet more than you can afford to lose. The old gambler’s adage springs uncomfortably to mind as the government once again prepares to roll the pandemic dice, pushing ahead with opening English pubs this weekend even as a fresh outbreak forces Leicester back into lockdown. For those lucky enough to live in places where Covid-19 seems firmly under control, a night out probably means risking little more than a hangover. But in some parts of the country, so-called super Saturday looks alarmingly like chucking petrol on a barbecue.
Rumours abound of other towns teetering on the brink of being locked down again, although names should be taken with a pinch of salt; working out where fresh outbreaks are brewing is about far more than simply spotting high case numbers. After Leicester, the highest infection rates per 100,000 people are in Bradford and Barnsley, Rochdale and Oldham, but the most recent reports show infections falling in all four. Doncaster and Bolton have lower numbers but seem to be heading ominously upwards, and in Bedford, where cases are unusually high for the south, the council this week halted the reopening of children’s playgrounds as a precaution.
Rishi Sunak is right to help sector weather pandemic but needs to show Treasury is top of tree of creditors
Call it a small but significant step in the government’s Covid-19 business response: a loan has been granted to a company that does not meet the lending criteria for other support schemes.
Celsa Steel UK, Spanish-owned but operating in south Wales, is the recipient. The sum is thought to be relatively small – about £30m – but 1,000 jobs were at risk. Chancellor Rishi Sunak seems to have decided the UK steel industry must not buckle during the pandemic.
Keir Starmer now has control of his party. But he risks alienating the very people Labour needs to embrace
As far as Labour is concerned, Keir Starmer is now master of all he surveys. A landslide victory among the party’s membership was accompanied by his appointment of the national executive committee’s general secretary, and with it control of the party machine. In the past two weeks, his removal of Rebecca Long-Bailey from the shadow cabinet and changes to NEC voting mechanisms have cemented the Starmer ascendancy. Commentators who spent years howling about Corbynite authoritarianism demand more: the left must not just be thrashed but humiliated in the process. A year ago, the headline above one Times commentator’s column was “Jeremy Corbyn’sintolerance makes him unfit to lead”. Two weeks ago it was “Keir Starmer should finish the purge of Corbynism”.
Jeremy Corbyn’s long involvement with anti-racism struggles led many minorities to conclude he was a natural ally
To think we can sway authoritarian Beijing is fantasy. Instead we must make those who want freedom welcome in the UK
The sight of young people anywhere being brutally stripped of their freedom is depressing. When that freedom was a legacy, however brief, from the British crown, it is more so. The ban on dissent now imposed by China on Hong Kong smashes the spirit and letter of the Sino-British treaty of 1984. It shows China for what it is, an unprincipled dictatorship.
When I reported in 1997 on the Hong Kong celebrations bidding farewell to British rule, there was one question on all lips. It was: how long would Beijing’s 50-year pledge of “one nation, two systems” survive? The guesses were five years, perhaps 10. China would surely milk the cash cow for all it was worth, but any sign of trouble and Beijing would instantly wipe this “imperialist pimple” off the map. No one dreamed China’s patience would last 23 years.
All-rounder self-isolates after sickness overnight
Results of Curran’s test expected on Friday
England’s smooth preparations for the Test series against West Indies were undermined by the news that Sam Curran spent the day self-isolating in his room after sickness and diarrhoea overnight. He was therefore tested for Covid-19 at lunchtime on Thursday and, though feeling better in the afternoon, he will take no further part in the match at the Ageas Bowl.
Prospect of blanket ban on all Russian athletes increases
Coe warns Russia has fallen ‘well short of expectations’
The prospect of a blanket ban on all Russian track and field athletes has increased after World Athletics froze the process allowing them to compete on the international circuit. The decision came a day after the Russians failed to pay a $5m (£4m) fine for doping offences – as well as another $1.31m (£1m) in legal costs – to the sport’s governing body.
Chances of centre continuing international career boosted
Tuilagi did not accept reduced contract with Leicester
Manu Tuilagi can make a straightforward claim against Leicester for compensation and damages after he was stood down by the club, according to a leading sports lawyer – aiding the England centre’s chances of continuing his international career.
Root: ‘Important to show solidarity with the black community’
Use of symbol in sport now being distanced from political group
England’s cricketers are to wear Black Lives Matter badges on the collar of their shirts during the upcoming Test series against West Indies, calling it an “act of solidarity” with their Caribbean opponents.
José Mourinho rightly condemned the damage being done to “the beautiful game” by VAR but he has more to fear than the killjoys of Stockley Park on the evidence of Tottenham’s defeat at Sheffield United. Mentally, defensively and creatively, Spurs were second best and are in danger of finishing outside the top six for the first time since 2009.
Mourinho attacked the VAR decision that disallowed an equaliser for Harry Kane at Bramall Lane, naturally, but he did not camouflage its impact on his brittle players. Spurs lost their composure and fight after Michael Oliver’s decision and were sliced apart by Chris Wilder’s wing-backs as United leap-frogged the visitors in the pursuit of European qualification. All three of United’s goals came from the flanks and on all three occasions the Spurs defence was found wanting badly. Oli McBurnie, who sealed victory, embodied the heart and commitment that his opponents lacked.
World champion speaks out before F1 season begins in Austria
‘Our voices are powerful, we can have a huge impact’
Lewis Hamilton has said winning the Formula One world championship this season would mean more than ever given his personal commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Speaking in Spielberg as the sport prepares to hold its first race of the season in Austria, the six-time champion insisted the equality he is so actively encouraging and pursuing will not come about with ease.
The US recorded a new all-time daily high of 52,000 new Covid-19 cases on 1 July, according to Johns Hopkins University figures, as Donald Trump repeated his belief the virus would ‘just disappear’.
America has now had more than 2.7 million confirmed cases - more than double that of Brazil, the second most-affected country. Dr Anthony Fauci, the US’s top infectious disease expert, has said the country is ‘going in the wrong direction’, infections could more than double and the subsequent death toll ‘is going to be very disturbing’.
The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington looks at why a patchwork approach to lifting lockdowns, as well as the president’s mixed messages on wearing a mask, have led to confusion across the country and why some states are having to clamp down
Small towns, as well as big cities, across the UK have been holding Black Lives Matter protests and continue to do so. Flora, 23, meets fellow activists Hannah, Annabel and Alex for the first time at the demo they are organising together in their home town of Yeovil, in Somerset. Flora, who is mixed race, moved to the area from south London when she was 10. She talks about the difficulties of living somewhere rural but also about how her parents don’t have any regrets
Robin DiAngelo’s bestselling book White Fragility has provoked an uncomfortable but vital conversation about what it means to be white. As protests organised by the Black Lives Matter movement continue around the world, she explains why white people should stop avoiding conversations about race because of their own discomfort, and how 'white fragility' plays a key role in upholding systemic racism
Aston University Engineering Academy, a secondary school and sixth form in central Birmingham, has had to overcome myriad issues simply to safely open its doors to vastly reduced numbers of students. The headteacher, Daniel Locke-Wheaton, explains why inner-city schools are disproportionately affected by the pandemic, and why a full return in September will be impossible, while his students discuss their return to this new normal for education
The Black Lives Matter protests in the US, which escalated in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, have brought the little-known but decades-old campaign to abolish US police into the spotlight. But what are abolitionists calling for, and how would a police-free society work? Josh Toussaint-Strauss explores the arguments for abolition with a campaigner from MPD150 and Reclaim the Block, and also Sam Levin, LA correspondent for Guardian US
In April, St Ronans care home in Southsea, Portsmouth, tested positive for coronavirus. Without readily available testing, staff think Covid-19 infected about 25 of their residents. Four died with symptoms or suspected symptoms. Through a mixture of videos shot by workers inside the home and interviews filmed outside, they discuss how they are coping with the pandemic, and how staff, residents and relatives are adjusting to the 'new normal'
Donald Trump told thousands of supporters at a rally in Oklahoma he wanted to slow down testing for Covid-19 – despite experts saying the opposite.
From masks to 'miracle' treatments, the Guardian's Maanvi Singh looks back at how the US president has long been contradicting and defying science during the coronavirus outbreak and the impact that has had on the country's handling of the pandemic
The UK government’s response to the coronavirus and the dramatic rise in public borrowing during the crisis should include a wealth tax on the richest in society, a former head of the civil service has said.
Sir Gus O’Donnell, who served as cabinet secretary under David Cameron, Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, said the Conservative government could prove it was serious about fighting inequality and levelling-up Britain by increasing taxes on wealth.
Sentencing delayed after Safiyya Amira Shaikh tells friend she wanted to ‘go through with it’
Sentencing of an Islamic State supporter who plotted to blow up St Paul’s Cathedral at Easter has been postponed after she was recorded in a prison phone call saying she had wanted to “go through with it” and had only been delayed because she had been “doing drugs”.
In an unusual delay, an Old Bailey judge was told on Thursday that after Safiyya Amira Shaikh listened to what was said on her behalf in courtroom mitigation last week, she contradicted her lawyers and denied that she had got “cold feet”.
National Crime Agency says infiltration of EncroChat a blow to criminal command system
British law enforcement officials say they have made their biggest ever breakthrough against organised crime after hacking into an encrypted communications system used to plan drug deals and murder plots.
Since April, more than £50m in cash has been seized in the UK and 746 suspects have been arrested – some of them described as “untouchables” who thought they would never be caught – as part of Operation Venetic. Several suspected corrupt police and law enforcement officials have also been identified.
Nicola Sturgeon has told people in Dumfries and Galloway they cannot yet relax any lockdown rules after an outbreak of Covid-19 cases straddling the border with England.
She said those living around Gretna, Annan, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Langholm and Canonbie were still required to stay within five miles of their homes, while outdoor restaurants, pub gardens and care homes would remain closed to visitors at least until next week.
Councils in England say they face a financial shortfall this year of more than £1bn and will be forced to make further cuts to local services after warning that a Covid-19 rescue package unveiled by ministers did not go far enough.
The package, presented on Thursday as a “comprehensive and flexible” offer, proposed a £500m coronavirus cash injection for England alongside a proposed scheme to defer lost council tax and business-rate takings, and partly compensate councils for reduced income from car parking, museums and leisure centres.
Court hears Qatari leader spoke to then PM as bank was pressurised to accept government money
A Qatari leader spoke to then prime minister Gordon Brown during the 2008 financial crisis as Barclays bank came under increasing pressure to accept government money, a former bank boss has told a high court judge.
Former Barclays chief executive John Varley told Mr Justice Waksman how Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad spoke to Brown in October 2008 to “defuse” that pressure.
In wide-ranging interview, PM says jobs furlough not healthy and urges restraint as pubs open
Boris Johnson has expressed opposition to removing a statue of Cecil Rhodes from Oxford University, in a rare newspaper interview in which he also said the jobs furlough scheme was not “healthy” for the economy in the long term and would end soon.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, the prime minister said he did not agree with the decision of Oriel College to take down its statue of the Victorian imperialist, as he was “in favour of people understanding our past with all its imperfections”.
State downplays incident as dissidents claim responsibility in unconfirmed report to BBC
A fire damaged a building on Thursday morning at one of Iran’s main nuclear facilities, a site that has previously been the target of cyberattacks and where enrichment activity has been ramped up in the past year.
Iranian officials downplayed the incident – the third prominent industrial accident in the country in recent days – though the BBC’s Farsi service said it received an email before the news of the fire was made public from a purported dissident group taking credit for what it said was an attack.
Warming water temperatures lowerwater oxygen levels, putting embryos and pregnant fish at risk, researchers say
Sixty per cent of studied fish species will be unable to survive in their current ranges by 2100 if climate warming reaches a worst-case scenario of 4-5C (7.2-9F) above pre-industrial temperatures, researchers have found.
In a study of nearly 700 fresh and saltwater fish species, researchers examined how warming water temperatures lowerwater oxygen levels, putting embryos and pregnant fish at risk.
We will not change our policies or approach, says Zuckerberg
More than 500 companies are protesting against hate speech
Mark Zuckerberg has dismissed the threat of a punishing boycott from major advertisers pressing Facebook to take a stronger stand on hate speech and said they will be back “soon enough”.
According to a report by tech news site the Information, the Facebook founder and CEO sees the boycott from big brands including Starbucks and Coca-Cola as a PR issue rather than a serious threat and is not planning a major response. “We’re not gonna change our policies or approach on anything because of a threat to a small percent of our revenue, or to any percent of our revenue,” he said, according to the Information.
A fast growing mountain of toxic e-waste is polluting the planet and damaging health, says new report
At least $10bn (£7.9bn) worth of gold, platinum and other precious metals are dumped every year in the growing mountain of electronic waste that is polluting the planet, according to a new UN report.
A record 54m tonnes of “e-waste” was generated worldwide in 2019, up 21% in five years, the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor report found. The 2019 figure is equivalent to 7.3kg for every man, woman and child on Earth, though use is concentrated in richer nations. The amount of e-waste is rising three times faster than the world’s population, and only 17% of it was recycled in 2019.
Decision follows recent revelation country has highest rates of tobacco use in the world
The Jordanian government has banned smoking and vaping in all indoor public spaces a week after a Guardian investigation revealed tobacco use in the country had become the highest in the world.
The country’s health ministry said on Wednesday all enclosed public areas would now be “100% smoke-free environments”, building on an existing but widely flouted ban on smoking inside government buildings, and ending an exemption for hotels, cafes and restaurants provided they separated smokers from non-smokers.
A series of military figures are lining up to condemn the president over his reported inaction after being briefed on the plot
Military veterans helped sweep Donald Trump to power in 2016, turning out in swing states like Ohio and Florida as Trump vowed to spend vast sums on defense. They have largely stuck with him ever since, even as Trump has repeatedly attacked venerated military leaders.
From First Dates to a glut of new Netflix releases, TV continues to woo us with a constant stream of couples dating, marrying – and even breaking up
This summer, Netflix is sticking to the old television adage of “it ain’t broke, endlessly reproduce it in a slightly different format until it is.” After the runaway success of Love Is Blind and the viral infamy of Too Hot to Handle, the streaming service is bombarding viewers with romantic reality shows. Tomorrow sees the release of Say I Do, a series that sees couples getting married at their surprise dream weddings, in a similar vein to BBC Three’s Don’t Tell the Bride. Indian Matchmaking will also be airing, from 16 July, following marriage consultant Sima Taparia and her clients, while Love on the Spectrum, a four-part documentary that follows young adults with autism who are looking for love, begins on 22 July.
However, far from overestimating our capacity for watching romance, Netflix’s new releases appear to be shrewd ones. Despite millennials’ alleged disinterest in love (more than half of us are unmarried), we can’t seem to get enough of it on TV. Shows about love are, in a strange sense, my generation’s romcoms. These are shows filled with tender moments, misunderstandings and hi-jinks, but often less concerned with happy endings – most of the best-loved programmes are as much about destroying love as they are about finding it.
That Reminds Me, a semi-autobiographical novel about foster homes and mental health that was published by Stormzy’s imprint, wins £10,000 award
Derek Owusu’s novel-in-verse That Reminds Me, about a turbulent childhood in foster homes and a mental breakdown, has won the Desmond Elliott prize for the year’s best debut novel.
Published by Stormzy’s imprint Merky Books, the book was described by judges of the £10,000 award as a “transcendent work of literature”. The semi-autobiographical novel follows a British-Ghanaian boy, K, as he passes through different foster homes. It explores identity, sexuality, mental health and abuse as K moves from the Suffolk countryside to inner-city London. Owusu began writing it while he was in a mental health facility, creating the character of K to help him understand the breakdown he was going through.
Paolo Sorrentino, Pablo Larraín, Maggie Gyllenhaal and other film-makers on the restrictions, inspirations and creative solutions to shooting in lockdown
“Shall we take a tour of the Vatican?” the Pope asks the Queen. Except his holiness and her majesty are not actually in the Vatican, they are in the home of the renowned Italian film-maker Paolo Sorrentino. And they’re not actually people; they are little figurines with waving hands, such as you would buy in a souvenir shop. Sorrentino’s bookshelves double for the Vatican library, plant pots for its gardens, the underside of a chair for a grand hall. Then the Dude from the Big Lebowski pops up and tells them there’s a lockdown. “Oh, that’s quite all right,” replies the Queen. “I’ve been in lockdown for the past 94 years.”
It is a bit of a departure from Sorrentino’s usual sumptuous works such as The Great Beauty or his HBO series The New Pope (which is set in a considerably more lifelike replica Vatican). But this is what film-making looks like under lockdown. Sorrentino shot the film on his iPhone, then got actors Javier Cámara and Olivia Williams to do the voiceovers. “It was a sort of return to the beginning of my life as a director,” he says. “When I was very young, I did exactly this kind of stuff: making movies alone at home with a VHS camera.” The Pope and Queen figurines usually sit on his desk. “They are both people who have lived their whole lives in lockdown,” he says, “so it was easy to tell a story of solitude, of melancholy between them.”
Separated portraits of 16th-century high society husband and wife finally back together
A couple painted by the leading renaissance artist Bartholomäus Bruyn the Elder before their marriage in 1539 have finally been reunited after an art historian turned detective, spending two decades piecing together clues from across Europe to bring the two-panel portrait together again.
Jakob and Elisabeth Omphalius, scions of high-society in 16th-century Cologne, had stared at each other for over 350 years from their respective wooden panels before being inexplicably separated during a sale at a London auction house in 1896.
The singer, who said in February she had been kidnapped and raped, calls Polish film ‘careless, insensitive, and dangerous’
Duffy has accused Netflix of glamourising rape and sex trafficking by screening the hit Polish film 365 Days.
The pop singer, who recently revealed her own rape and kidnap ordeal, wrote an open letter to Netflix chief Reed Hastings, saying: “It grieves me that Netflix provides a platform for such ‘cinema’, that eroticises kidnapping and distorts sexual violence and trafficking as a ‘sexy’ movie. I just can’t imagine how Netflix could overlook how careless, insensitive, and dangerous this is.”
With festival season cancelled, we’re starting a new series asking stars for their dream lineups. First up is Rufus Wainwright, blending opera and Florence Welch
I am a big fan of Venice and my husband and I have spent quite a bit of time there. Even when it’s teeming with tourists – which it won’t be now – I find it gloriously enthralling, so my festival would simply have to be there. Everyone would ride gondolas so we’d all be socially distanced and there would be a beautiful band show on one of the islands. It would be kinda like going to a drive-in, but a boat-in.
Spurred on by his local community and his passion for music, Steve Courtnell is determined to open his doors once again
In challenging times, we all crave simple comforts: things like good company, good food and good music. All reasons to head to Southsea’s Pie & Vinyl for some well-deserved self-love once lockdown fully lifts then – this is the cafe-cum-record shop and community hub that puts the rave in gravy and the thrash in mash.
“It was conceived in my head while I was working an office job,” says Pie & Vinyl founder and owner Steve Courtnell of the inspiration behind his unusual business, which he thought up while working in management and inventory in the fab world of consumer luxury and beauty. “My big love is music and always has been. So, like a lot of people, I kind of had this dream, which was to run a record shop.” His dream came true in April 2012 when Pie & Vinyl opened its doors for the first time.
Harissa Kitchen is relying on an army of volunteers to support those most in need across Newcastle and Gateshead
Jamie Sadler is the founder of Harissa Kitchen, a popular eastern Mediterranean and north African eatery in Sandyford, Newcastle.
The idea of combining a vibrant restaurant, offering superb food, service and ambience, with a social enterprise has always been a dream for Sadler. So as well as celebrating foodie accolades, such as a top rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association and a place in The Good Food Guide 2020, Harissa Kitchen doubles as a social enterprise that helps to fuel his other passion, Food Nation CIC. Sadler founded and runs the community organisation designed to inspire local people to live a healthier lifestyle on a low budget and improve their wellbeing through food.
The husband and wife team running The Eco Larder have been stranded in different parts of Scotland in lockdown, but that’s not stopping them from keeping their zero-waste store open
On 5 June, The Eco Larder co-owner Matthew Foulds had his first day off work for 90 days. Making the most of his free time, he picked up a hire bike and went for a ride. An apt choice, given that when lockdown began, The Eco Larder started offering bicycle deliveries for the first time.
This new option is one of the ways that Matthew and his co-owner and wife, Stephanie Foulds, have adapted their business during the coronavirus pandemic. “We started offering a delivery service as soon as the lockdown came into place because of how difficult it was for people to get hold of groceries,” says Stephanie. “And because we’re an environmental company, we decided to do this by cargo bike.”
Kaela Mills had to shut her Bexhill childrenswear shop because of the coronavirus crisis, but she soon found success thanks to her savvy decision to expand her website
When the government announced its lockdown measures for the UK, Kaela Mills felt decidedly gloomy about the future of her ethical childrenswear brand, Sprout. “When everything first started, I genuinely didn’t think my business was going to make it through,” she says. “Not knowing how long the lockdown was going to last was incredibly anxiety-inducing. I think a lot of small businesses felt the same.”
Mills usually spends her days at The Workshop, Sprout’s retail space and the hub of production for her bright and playful made-to-order clothes. Just a few minutes’ walk from Bexhill beach, it started life as a shared workspace, but as Sprout quickly grew, she was able to dedicate the whole space to her own business.
Combining open air with social distancing, a stay at a UK campsite will be a popular option this year. Readers reveal their favourites
Whenever people complain that the UK isn’t a holiday destination, I think of Three Cliffs Bay near Swansea. I first went as a child, and have remained in love ever since. The campsite looks over a sheltered lagoon with three rocky crags, huge sand dunes and rock faces you can scramble up. It’s a perfect campsite for families because of the facilities and surrounding nature. Apart from the incredible view, my favourite thing is how close it is to the beach – very tempting for a morning swim. I can’t wait to go back. • Open to caravans and motorhomes from 13 July, for camping (from £24 a night) from 1 Sept, no glamping till 2021, threecliffsbay.com Alex Smith
The fashion house’s update of Michael Jordan’s classic footwear is set to bring joy to sneakerheads and point the way forward for luxury shopping. Is this the restart of hype?
Two months ago, it was modish to theorise that consumer desire for extravagant luxury fashion might never recover from the pandemic. But two months is a long time in fashion, and this week sees the blockbuster must-have come roaring back into style. On 1 July, an online prize draw will decide the lucky few who have won the privilege of spending £1,800 on the new Air Dior trainers. Even by the hype standards of the sneakerhead world, the buzz around the luxury take on basketball’s most iconic hi-top is breaking pre-pandemic decibel records.
Next week’s pop-up Selfridges “collection point” for the first Air Jordan 1 OG Dior sneakers will be the first luxe iteration of the click-and-collect retail mode that is part of our contactless new normal. The hands-on elements of the pop-up had to be shelved to comply with social distancing and sanitising guidelines, but – for 13 days only – Selfridges aims to bring an experiential element to the process of picking up a pair of pre-purchased trainers. A bespoke architectural experience “based on the concept of air” features glass walls that cloud up with “smoke” to reveal the Air Dior logo, and a real-time countdown showing how many pairs are still to be collected.
Paired with chocolate for dessert or pickled and served over mackerel, there’s so much you can do with cherries this season – just invest in a stoner first
As cherry season gets into full swing, allow me to recommend a small, but judicious, purchase – buy yourself a cherry stoner.
You may already have one in a drawer somewhere – a tool you’ve inherited without ever knowing what it is: little sprung jaws featuring a spoon with a hole in it on one side and a corresponding protrusion on the other. You can pick one up for as little as three quid, and it does olives as well.
UK libraries will start to reopen from 4 July. But anyone hoping to pop in and browse the bookshelves, take their child to rhymetime or spend a couple of hours using the computers is going to be disappointed.
“We have the capacity for 20 people at a time,” says Rachel Braithwaite, project development manager at the Archibald Corbett Library in south London, which will, unlike many other libraries, be opening its doors from 4 July and restarting at least some former activities. “There will be a space marshall and hand sanitiser at the door. Everyone feels differently. People who would be worried won’t come. But personally I’m looking forward to it.”
Revive memories of Italian seaside cafes with this step-by-step guide to making classic crab linguine
Few things scream summer holiday to me more than a big bowl of briny, seafood-studded pasta, even if it’s going to be eaten in front of the TV rather than some pretty Italian harbour. Happily, seafood is one of the things we do rather well in this country, and this dish is the perfect end for a fat, brown, British crab. Sunshine optional.
We’d like to hear from parents and teachers about the government’s announcement that all schools and colleges in England will be reopening in full at the start of the next academic year
The government have today announced that all schools and colleges in England will be reopening in full in September.
Current limitations on the number of students that can be in school at once will be lifted, but schools will be expected to keep children in ‘bubbles’ according to their class or year group. Older children will also be ‘encouraged’ to keep their distance from their peers and staff, and measures such as regular cleaning and hand-washing will also be in place.
We’d like readers in England to share photos and stories of their lockdown hair before it all comes off
The season of DIY haircuts is expected to come to an end. Hairdressers and barbers in England have been given the green light by the government to reopen their doors on 4 July, with some salons planing to open at midnight to clear a backlog of bookings.
But before you have your hair styled back, we’d like to see photos of your lockdown locks pre-haircut, and ones fresh from the salon next week.
Wealth in the US isn’t trickling down when compared to other countries. Just look at Finland, the happiest country in the world: it only has six billionaires
It’s official: America has the most billionaires in the world, for yet another year. The US increased its share of billionaires by 12% in 2019 according to a report by Wealth-X, which annually takes stock on the world’s mega-rich.
As US passes legislation targeting Chinese officials, banks face question of ‘which side their bread is buttered’
HSBC and Standard Chartered risk being caught up in the geopolitical struggle between the US and China after the US House of Representatives passed legislation targeting Chinese officials involved in implementing a national security law in Hong Kong.
Banks who do business with officials involved in the security law could face sanctions, amid concerns the security law could be used to crack down on dissent in Hong Kong. More than 370 people were arrested in Hong Kong on Wednesday after the new powers were introduced.
As social media has become more inhospitable, the appeal of private online groups has grown. But they hold their own dangers – to those both inside and out.
In the spring, as the virus swept across the world and billions of people were compelled to stay at home, the popularity of one social media app rose more sharply than any other. By late March, usage of WhatsApp around the world had grown by 40%. In Spain, where the lockdown was particularly strict, it rose by 76%. In those early months, WhatsApp – which hovers neatly between the space of email, Facebook and SMS, allowing text messages, links and photos to be shared between groups – was a prime conduit through which waves of news, memes and mass anxiety travelled.
At first, many of the new uses were heartening. Mutual aid groups sprung up to help the vulnerable. Families and friends used the app to stay close, sharing their fears and concerns in real time. Yet by mid-April, the role that WhatsApp was playing in the pandemic looked somewhat darker. A conspiracy theory about the rollout of 5G, which originated long before Covid-19 had appeared, now claimed that mobile phone masts were responsible for the disease. Across the UK, people began setting fire to 5G masts, with 20 arson attacks over the Easter weekend alone.
Therapy is helping some of the thousands forced over the border to Uganda to cope, but funding shortfalls mean resources are becoming scarcer
As darkness fell, Rebecca closed the door to her makeshift home. The day was over.
The 29-year-old, who had been uprooted from South Sudan to a north Ugandan refugee settlement, sat on the bed where her four children slept and, at around 10pm, tried to take her own life. “By then I didn’t care about anything – not myself, not even my kids. The pain was too extreme,” she says. Her children awoke and their cries brought help from neighbours.
Legislation will allow Foreign Office to confront countries over human rights, but who it will target remains to be seen
New UK human rights sanctions legislation set to be published in the next few weeks is being touted as a possible tool with which to confront Chinese officials over Hong Kong, but questions loom about whether the law’s range and impact can meet such high expectations.
The difficulties inherent in drafting watertight sanctions is reflected in the long delay prior to its publication. An act giving the government the right to introduce what is known as Magnitsky-style laws against human rights offenders was passed in May 2018, but since then Foreign Office lawyers have been working on the detailed secondary parliamentary legislation known as a statutory instrument (SI).
Black Lives Matter has underlined the crucial role played by black photographers. We asked eight British leaders in their field to pick a favourite image from their archives – and explain why it’s so important to them
The winning images have been announced for the inaugural awards, selected by a jury of sports industry professionals, in categories that include joy, celebration, view, determination, precision and speed
Guardian photographer Tom Jenkins has documented the Premier League since its restart in June. Here, he looks back on the experience of shooting matches in empty grounds amid strict Covid-19 precautions
Click on each image for more information
That bloody bird has been putting me off all game. High up in the stand above me at Carrow Road, a seagull is roosting and making a right old racket. It seems to be distracting the Norwich defence too, as Nathan Redmond strolls through and scores to put Southampton 3-0 up. There’s a brief cheer and a polite round of applause from a couple of Saints staff members in the stand before Redmond performs a Black Power salute. It’s all very surreal. Black Lives Matter meets Behind Closed Doors football. Welcome to the world of Project Restart, the Covid-19 version of the Premier League.