The Guardian 4 April 2018

Russia must cooperate with chemical weapons watchdog, says EU

Moscow told to provide full disclosure to investigation into Salisbury spy poisoningRussia must start cooperating with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ investigation into the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Salisbury, the European Union and the UK have declared at an emergency session of the global watchdog.“It is imperative that the Russian Federation responds to the British government’s legitimate questions, begins to cooperate with the OPCW secretariat, and provides full and complete disclosure to the OPCW,” the EU said. Continue reading...

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Wall Street tumbles as China-US tariffs fuel trade war fears - business live

US stock market slides after Beijing announces 25% tariffs on a range of American imports, fuelling fears of a full-blown trade warWall Street slides in early tradingSummary: America and China move closer to a trade warTrump: We’ve already lost the trade warChina: Tariffs on US soybeans, aircraft, cars.....Why soybeans are a big dealMove comes after US announced new tariffs on $50bn of China goods 2.51pm BST This is turning into a broad-based rout.Each of the 30 blue-chip companies which makes up the Dow has fallen into the red. 2.48pm BST Boeing is also being hit hard. Its shares are down over 4% in early trading.Bloomberg explains why China’s new 25% tariffs could be bad news for the airline maker:In a tit-for-tat response to tariffs from Trump, China announced the planned levy on aircraft weighing between 15,000 kilograms (33,000 pounds) and 45,000 kilograms, which would include some variants of Boeing’s 737 family of passenger jets.Single-aisle jets, dominated by the 737 and Airbus’s A320 family, both with sticker prices of about $100 million, are likely to account for three quarters of the global market over the next two decades, according to Boeing’s estimates.Boeing could suffer as China plans 25% tariff on U.S. aircraft https://t.co/a2Fq0Du3o0 via @technology Continue reading...

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DRC opposition leader may be barred from elections over Italian citizenship

Moïse Katumbi says row is attempt by Joseph Kabila’s government to derail his candidacyMoïse Katumbi, the most popular opposition leader in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, may not be eligible to stand in presidential elections scheduled later this year after it was revealed that he had held Italian citizenship from October 2000 until January 2017. Related: 'The wars will never stop' - millions flee bloodshed as Congo falls apart Continue reading...

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Four artworks vanish from walls of French parliament

Police investigation launched after objects discovered missing during annual inventoryFrench police have launched an investigation to trace four works of art that have vanished from the walls of the Assemblée Nationale in Paris.The objects were discovered missing at the end of last year after an annual inventory by the state agency that is responsible for keeping track of works of art and furniture in public buildings. Continue reading...

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YouTube HQ shooting: police identify woman who opened fire

Nasim Najafi Aghdam injured three people at San Francisco office before killing herselfPolice in California have named a woman who opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters in a suburb of San Francisco, injuring three, before killing herself.Officials from the San Bruno police department identified her as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, who was in her late 30s. Continue reading...

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Israeli authorities block airport ads urging women to refuse to give up seats

Campaign reminds passengers of their right to stay put if ultra-Orthodox men refuse to sit next to themIsrael’s airports authority has refused to display adverts informing female passengers that it is illegal for airline staff to ask them to move seats at the behest of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men.The Israel Religious Action Center (IRAC) had planned to display the billboard ads at Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, during Passover, the Jewish holiday that ends on Saturday. Continue reading...

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French government stands firm as strikes bring more railway chaos

Workers walk out for second day over Emmanuel Macron’s plans to overhaul state rail network France is facing a second day of transport chaos as rail workers continue what is expected to be three months of intermittent strikes – the first major test to Emmanuel Macron’s pro-business plan to reshape the French economy and loosen labour rules in the state sector.Rail strikes are scheduled for two days out of every five until 28 June against Macron’s proposed sweeping changes to SNCF, France’s vast state rail network. It is the biggest industrial action against the centrist president since he took office last year. Continue reading...

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Anti-Isis alliance in doubt after Trump's vow to pull US troops from Syria

Troubled partnership against Isis shows signs of cracking after surprise announcement The possible withdrawal of US troops from Syria has raised alarm among officials involved in the war against Islamic State who say at least 2,200 fighters remain entrenched in the east, with the alliance built to oust the extremists showing signs of cracking.Donald Trump’s surprise announcement late last week that US troops would be “coming out of Syria … very soon” has placed further stress on an already troubled partnership between Washington and a Kurdish-led force it had assembled to push Isis from north-east Syria. Continue reading...

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Mark Zuckerberg will testify before House panel on Facebook's use of data

Facebook CEO will testify on 11 April at a hearing focused on ‘use and protection of user data’, after Cambridge Analytica allegationsFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before a House oversight panel on 11 April amid a privacy scandal that has roiled the social media giant, the panel announced Wednesday. Related: Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach Continue reading...

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'Arab spring for teachers': educators in Oklahoma join wave of strikes

Teachers began a 110-mile march from Tulsa to Oklahoma City after rejecting a $6,000 pay increase, following strike in KentuckyLeaning over the overpass going under the Oklahoma State Capitol Complex, a group of a dozen women in rain jackets hold signs as oil tankers pass under, honking their horns in support for the striking teachers. “It’s like the Arab spring, but it’s a teacher spring,” geography teacher Toni Henson said, smiling as thousands of teachers march past picketing the Oklahoma state capitol and calling for higher wages and funding for schools. Continue reading...

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Man Booker prize reverses nationality decision on Taiwanese author

The literary prize announces that it will no longer list authors by nationality, but by country or territory, after drawing criticism when it bowed to pressure from ChinaThe Man Booker International prize has backed away from its decision to change a Taiwanese author’s nationality to “Taiwan, China” after it was criticised for bowing to pressure from Beijing.Author Wu Ming-Yi, who has been longlisted for his novel The Stolen Bicycle, was originally described by award organisers as a writer from Taiwan, when his nomination was announced in March. Following a complaint from the Chinese embassy in London last week, his nationality was changed on the prize’s website to “Taiwan, China”. Continue reading...

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Martin Sorrell: giant of the advertising world in yet another tight spot

His dealmaking and pay packet have made WPP chief executive no stranger to controversyFor more than three decades, Sir Martin Sorrell has run WPP – the world’s biggest advertising group, which he built out of a small, Kent-based maker of wire baskets – with an iron grip. Sorrell embarked on global domination at the age of 40, walking out on his job as finance chief at the ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi, where he was often referred to as “the third brother”, in 1985. Since then he has built Wire & Plastic Products (which still makes “top quality domestic kitchen wireware”) into a global behemoth that he has been accused of running as a “personal fiefdom”. Continue reading...

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'I Have A Dream': students from Martin Luther King Jr's former school recite speech

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's death, the Guardian asked nine students from his former school in Atlanta - Booker T Washington high school - to recite 'I Have A Dream' Continue reading...

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We’ve set up #PayMeToo to ensure women earn what they deserve | Stella Creasy

The gender pay gap reports make it crystal clear that women are systematically undervalued. But there is action we can takeWomen. Like men, only cheaper. And in 2018 we are discovering by just how much. The introduction of mandatory reporting has transformed the debate about the gender pay gap from a little-discussed dry set of statistics directly into staffrooms and workplaces across Britain, with explosive effect. The data shows in black and white just how few women are progressing within organisations across every area of the economy – whether in the public or private sector, gender still too often predicts pay.Yet even before all these reports have been made public, the backlash against any such scrutiny has begun. Angry voices decry the gender pay gap, saying it doesn’t exist, or that we’ve got it muddled with equal pay – something entirely different. Commentators such as Jordan Peterson, invited on to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme to discuss the gender pay gap on the day of the deadline for companies to report their results, claim women don’t have the skills to be top executives and don’t work the long hours men do, so the data is meaningless. Others say the gap just reflects life choices women have made; the “mummy pay penalty” for women who take breaks to have children or want to work part-time. Women, know your limits – and be paid accordingly. Continue reading...

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The hapless French mayor proves it – April Fools’ Day should be banned

Caroline Cayeux had to apologise after tweeting that Ikea was due to create 4,000 jobs in her town. She was only kidding! This is yet more proof that it’s time to end the whole shebangCaroline Cayeux, mayor of the French town Beauvais, has been forced to apologise for an April fool joke she made. The joke? Announcing that a new Ikea superstore was coming to town, creating 4,000 much-needed jobs in a region plagued by unemployment. “This is the culmination of a long struggle with other cities in the North of France! I fought and I congratulate myself!” she tweeted. But guess what? April fool! Ikea wouldn’t dream of opening a store in a weird little backwater that suffers the indignity of being twinned with Maidstone! It was all a joke! Everyone has to stay unemployed! LOL!You might be tempted to call Cayeux’s prank the worst April fool of all time, but that would be to discount every other April fool in the history of the world. Listen, April Fools’ Day is terrible. It is a sweatbead on a blister on a pimple on the anus of humanity. It is the uncontested low point of every year. It’s where humour goes to die a million agonising deaths. Do not doubt my sincerity when I say this: April Fools’ Day should be banned. Continue reading...

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Once again, Boris Johnson is a liability to Britain. Why is he still in the job? | Ellie Mae O’Hagan

He may have bent the truth over Porton Down and the source of novichok and baited Russia. But the foreign secretary always gets away with itLet’s start by revisiting Boris Johnson’s interview with Deutsche Welle last month, on whether the poison used in the Salisbury attack came from Russia:Boris Johnson: Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory … Continue reading...

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Have I already met my soulmate? You asked Google – here’s the answer | Rosie Wilby

Every day millions of people ask Google life’s most difficult questions. Our writers answer some of the commonest queriesIf you’re typing “have I already met my soulmate?” into Google, the chances are you’re in a similarly ambiguous emotional place to the one I found myself in six years ago. Had I messed up my sole chance at passionate romantic happiness with “the one that got away”? Would I die alone, rueing that missed opportunity? Or should I settle for a more companionable partnership and a sense of family? Related: The secret to… avoiding the same old arguments with your partner Continue reading...

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Ray Wilkins, former England midfielder, dies aged 61

• Wilkins won 84 England caps in 24-year playing career• Midfielder played for Chelsea, Manchester United and RangersRay Wilkins, the former England midfielder, has died at the age of 61.Wilkins, whose clubs included Chelsea, Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers and Rangers in a 24-year playing career that spanned three decades, fell after suffering a cardiac arrest last month and had been in a critical condition in St George’s hospital, in Tooting, south-west London. Continue reading...

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Commonwealth Games 2018 opening ceremony – in pictures

The best images as the curtain is raised on the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast Continue reading...

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Liverpool v Manchester City: where Champions League tie could be won or lost

Mohamed Salah could expose City’s problem left-back position while Gabriel Jesus must rise to his biggest challenge yet Continue reading...

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Premiership Rugby set for revamp with US insurance giant as new title sponsor

Arthur J Gallagher to replace Aviva as title backer, US sources sayHarlequins and Sale set to play in US in 2019, possibly in ChicagoPremiership Rugby is set to announce the US insurance giant Arthur J Gallagher & Co as its new title sponsor, succeeding Aviva in a move that could see English club rugby’s regular US fixture played in Chicago. Related: Champions Cup pulled into firing line in Premiership ring-fencing wrangle Continue reading...

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Salisbury poisoning’s role in England’s World Cup downfall? There isn’t one

It is farcical that the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal is being analysed through the prism of how it may affect Gareth Southgate’s England side at the World Cup in RussiaTo properly stress-test any theory, you have to take it to extremes. We can now be confident England’s agonised relationship with the World Cup is a tractor beam into which everything gets sucked eventually. And I mean everything. The poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Salisbury is the latest event to be subsumed in the much bigger story of England’s mystifying decades of tournament underperformance.Over here, the sports pages have earnestly contemplated what the fallout from the deployment of nerve agent on British soil means for Gareth Southgate’s squad as Russia 2018 looms into view, with much made of an intervention last month by one security expert. The Russians could insert contamination into the England side’s doping samples, Edward Lucas told the Jeremy Vine show, and they could nobble the referees and linesmen. They could also drug England players to “slow them down”. (Leave it – it’s too easy.) Continue reading...

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Ronaldo heroics establish Zidane’s team among Real Madrid greats

The 3-0 away victory against Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final included a masterclass from Isco as the holders underlined their superiorityOf all the masterpieces that Zinedine Zidane created during his playing career, the one that stands out is the side-on, left-footed volley that illuminated Real Madrid’s Champions League final victory over Bayer Leverkusen at Hampden Park in 2002.Roberto Carlos had surged up the left but his cross was hooked high and when it began its descent, there did not appear to be an obvious opportunity. Zidane had other ideas. The speed with which he set his feet on the edge of the penalty area was the first feature of the goal, followed by the instinctive adjustment of his body. Then, it was all about the purity of the technique; the talent that marked him out as one of the greats. Continue reading...

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Played 26, lost 26: The story of Antigua Barracuda's record-breaking season

The USL side lost every game of the 2013 season, based in a hotel and playing every game away, but their fighting spirit earned their opponents’ respectFootball, as the saying goes, is a results business and teams are prepared to rip up blueprints and burn through personnel in order to get them. Losing runs can act like a virus, stripping confidence and cohesion from even the most stable side, but one way or another they end eventually – most of the time.In 2013 Antigua Barracuda played 26 matches in the United Soccer League (USL) – then the third tier in the US – and lost them all. It was the club’s third and last full season, fleeting even by the standards of North America’s unstable development leagues. They are one of only a handful of professional sides to finish a season without a single point but, more than anything else, theirs is a tale of wasted potential. Continue reading...

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Real Mallorca v Atlético Baleares: the derby that disappeared for 37 years

Following their trip to the Galicia derby, Copa90 set sail to Majorca to attend an unlikely meeting between old rivalsA short film by Copa90, part of the Guardian Sport NetworkSomething unusual happened in the Balearic Islands earlier this season. For the first time in 37 years, Real Mallorca met local rivals Atlético Baleares in the league. Anyone with a passing interest in Spanish football over the last 20 years will be familiar with Real Mallorca. They finished fifth in La Liga as recently as 2010 and have graced European and Spanish finals. They faces Sven-Göran Eriksson’s Lazio in the Cup-Winners’ Cup final at Villa Park in 1999; they beat Arsenal in their first ever Champions League game in 2001; and in 2003 their all-time top scorer, Samuel Eto’o, scored twice as they won the Copa del Rey, the best moment in the club’s history. Related: Celta Vigo v Deportivo: the Galician derby, where rival fans sing together Continue reading...

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Indiana Joan? Explorer could be played by a woman, Steven Spielberg suggests

Director says that the character should take a ‘a different form’ when Harrison Ford retires from the roleThe next Indiana Jones could be played by a woman when Harrison Ford retires from the franchise, Steven Spielberg has suggested.Spielberg, who has directed every instalment in the blockbuster movie series, told the Sun that he was “pretty sure” the upcoming fifth outing for the explorer would be Ford’s swansong in the role, but that the franchise would “certainly continue after that”. Continue reading...

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Meme come true: Fleetwood Mac re-enter US charts thanks to Twitter post

A humorous tweet featuring the band’s enduring hit Dreams sent it into the Top 20 of Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chartDreams, the 1977 single from Fleetwood Mac’s 40m-selling album Rumours, has re-entered the US charts thanks to a Twitter meme.The song sits at No 16 on Billboard’s Hot Rock Songs chart, following the much-shared Twitter post by the user bottledfleet, where the song is used to accompany footage of a marching band’s dance troupe. Continue reading...

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The 2018 Bafta nominations: from Love Island to King Charles III

The shortlists reflect a recognition by the academy of the diversity of programme-making The 2018 Bafta nominations certainly cover the full spectrum of contemporary television. Honouring both a high-end product – two nominations for the BBC’s mock-Shakespearean drama, King Charles III – and one of the lowest: a nod for the summer shag-fest Love Island. There’s a similar range in the best actor category, where the late Tim Pigott-Smith is properly remembered for his career-crowning portrayal of King Charles III in Mike Bartlett’s play, alongside another personal-best performance by a veteran: Sean Bean as a Catholic priest who can bring peace to everyone except himself, in Jimmy McGovern’s Broken. But those famous faces are competing with two actors just either side of 30: Jack Rowan and Joe Cole, both alumni of Peaky Blinders, but noticed by Bafta for work in the dramas Born to Kill and Hang the DJ (Black Mirror) respectively. Continue reading...

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Kim Wilde: ‘Maybe aliens are using me to put out a record with them on it’

As the Kids in America singer begins her first UK tour in 30 years, she talks parenting, plastic surgery – and her belief in extraterrestrial interventionThe first man I fell in love with carried a photo of Kim Wilde in his wallet when I met him. For a while, she was my jokey love rival, but I think I was probably a bit in love with her, too. In the 80s, it felt as if everyone was.Kids in America, her 1981 debut single, was a global hit and Wilde went on to sell more records that decade than any other female British pop star. Hits included Chequered Love, You Keep Me Hanging On and You Came; she won a Brit award; she toured with Michael Jackson. Continue reading...

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Top 10 books about horses – Jane Smiley picks her favourites

Childhood classics, colourful racers and memoirs of horse whisperers … the novelist and horse lover gallops through the best riding readsWhen I was learning to ride horses, manuals were essentially worked-over cavalry manuals: horses were to obey, and the rider’s job was to know how to give orders. That changed in the 1960s, when trainers who had never been in the cavalry began to pay attention to horse behaviour. For my first middle-grade series, The Horses of Oak Valley Ranch, I wanted to focus on that, so I set it in the mid-60s and introduced trainers with new techniques. My new book, Riding Lessons, is about Ellen, a girl who loves horses but has to beg to be taught how to ride. She is what was once known as “contrary”: she wants to have her way and knows how to get it (sometimes by subterfuge). I wasn’t her as a child, but I would have loved to be her friend. Continue reading...

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As Time Goes By by Derek Taylor review – life in the Beatles’ magic circle

A new edition of the memoir by the band’s amiable press officer who witnessed Beatlemania and took notes as the breakup happened“Spring is here and Leeds play Chelsea tomorrow and Ringo and George and John and Paul are alive and well and full of hope. The world is still spinning and so are we and so are you. When the spinning stops – that’ll be the time to worry. Not before.” So ran the press release that announced the end of the Beatles on 11 April 1970, some time after they had actually broken up. It was written by Derek Taylor, a loquacious native of the Wirral who had served as their press officer in 1964, and again from 1968 until the end, when he headed the press department of Apple, their record company and doomed experiment in “western communism” .Alongside their manager Brian Epstein and producer George Martin, Taylor – who was born in 1932 and died in 1997 – was one of the group’s inner circle whose comparatively advanced years and very English urbanity added to the sense that, however exotic their outward appearance, the Beatles kept one collective foot in a world of tea, biscuits and impeccable manners. He was working for the Daily Express when he and his wife Joan first saw the band, on a UK tour shared with Roy Orbison in 1963. “Though maybe at the ‘wrong’ end of that generation,” he later wrote, “we were nevertheless open thereafter to the possibilities of being truly young in heart.” Continue reading...

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Grindr was a safe space for gay men. Its HIV status leak betrayed us | Brian Moylan

The app helped revolutionise the community’s approach to HIV. Sharing that data undoes all its good workGay men have always needed safe spaces, somewhere they could congregate without fear of stigma and judgment or, even more essentially, persecution and violence. Over the past several decades, those spaces were more often than not gay bars and clubs, where gay men flocked to be themselves in a way that wasn’t always possible in “polite society”. The fact that there were also scores of men at those establishments looking for casual encounters wasn’t just a bonus, it was often the entire point. Related: Grindr shared information about users' HIV status with third parties Continue reading...

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Women's work around the world - in pictures

The midnight deadline for Britain’s largest companies to publish the median pay gap between female and male employees is only hours away. Last year the World Economic Forum found, globally, the gap widening across professions for the first time since it began collating data on gender and pay in 2006. Here Agence France-Presse presents a series of photos of women whose jobs have traditionally been done by men in their country Continue reading...

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Would you drink Danny DeVito’s limoncello? The big names trying to sell us booze

From George Clooney and David Beckham to Jay-Z and Fergie, stars are adding a dash of glamour to tequila, whisky and champagne. In Drake’s words, it’s ‘one sip, and wooh!’Celebrities used to be more famous for drinking booze than for producing it, but these days famous people are no more likely to take a wine than they are to take an entire winery. Case in point: actor Ryan Reynolds, who recently announced his purchase of Portland-based Aviation gin from its previous owner, Davos Brands, after first tasting the stuff a year ago.While Davos has not disclosed what Reynolds paid or what percentage of the craft gin brand he owns, the firm says the Deadpool star will play an active role in the business. Gin is far from being the most popular spirit in the US market, but it might be a smart investment, says Joel Harrison, co-author of the award-winning book Distilled. “There has been a ‘ginaissance’ in Europe over the past five years,” he explains. The premium mixer brand Fever-Tree plans to begin distributing directly to the US, “which means Americans will soon have a genuinely good tonic to make gin and tonic. I think we’ll see a rise in gin sales as a result.” Continue reading...

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Theo Randall’s recipe for spaghetti with courgettes, onions and basil

This simple dish looks great with added courgette flowers and works with short pasta tooI was told about this recipe by a friend who comes from Naples. He described this dish with such passion that I had to cook it that same evening. You don’t have to use courgette flowers but it does look great with them. Spaghetti works really well but you could use a short pasta like penne rigate or fusilli instead. (Serves 4 as a starter) Continue reading...

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Shell threatened with legal action over climate change contributions

Friends of the Earth demands the oil firm move away from fossil fuels to comply with Paris dealThe global flurry of legal campaigns against “big oil” has widened, with Royal Dutch Shell being threatened with legal action unless it steps up efforts to comply with the Paris climate agreement.Friends of the Earth Netherlands on Wednesday demanded the Anglo-Dutch company revise plans to invest only 5% in sustainable energy and 95% in greenhouse-gas emitting oil and gas. Continue reading...

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Disabled Briton held in immigration removal centre for four months

Judge refuses to free Paul Tate, 53, who was born in UK and says he has never travelled abroadA 53-year-old disabled British man who was born in the UK and says he has never travelled abroad has been held in an immigration removal centre for the past four months, the Guardian has learned.Paul Tate is in a wheelchair after a stroke and has diabetes, asthma and high blood pressure. He applied for bail last week but the judge who considered his application refused to free him, saying: “He says he is a British citizen but has done nothing to prove it.” Continue reading...

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Two aid workers charged with theft of refugee camp supplies in Uganda

Danish Refugee Council suspends staff arrested in possession of maize flour and cooking oil intended for people uprooted by violenceTwo humanitarian aid workers from the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) have been charged with stealing flour and oil intended for refugees in south-west Uganda.Richard Mutabazi and Akim Muzidwa Muhiirwe were arrested last month in possession of 24 bags of maize flour, each weighing 60kg, nine jerrycans of cooking oil and other items meant for preparing meals at Kyaka II camp in Kyegegwa district. Eight refugees were also arrested. Continue reading...

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How to outwit your cat (so it won’t sit on your laptop) – cat training Q&As

If you’ve had enough of receiving sacrificial gifts, or don’t want your playful kitten turning into a cold catdult who only wants you for your food, our expert guide reveals how to iron out classic cat quirks while they’re still young, impressionable and adorableCats are by nature fiercely independent, stubborn and, from time to time, a bit rude. But then, that’s why we love them. What we don’t love so much is their tendency to shred the furniture, deliver us “gifts” of garden prey and throw a wobbly if we try to get them into their carrier. We asked Claire Bessant, chief executive of International Cat Care, to answer your burning questions and explain how to make sure your kitten grows up to be a cool (affectionate, even) cat.How can I prevent my kitten turning into a furniture-destroying machine?When they scratch up your new carpets or designer wallpaper, cats aren’t telling you they hate you – they’re simply sharpening their claws and marking their territory, and unfortunately they don’t really care what they use to do it. The answer is to provide your kitten with a scratch post and get them used to it as soon as possible. Continue reading...

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Found in translation: how British film-makers are capturing America

Andrew Haigh’s Lean on Pete is the latest in an increasing line of films from British directors finding new ways to reflect life in the USOn the face of it, Lean on Pete is a plain, pure-of-heart example of what some might call the “boy and his horse” genre. The fourth film by the humanist British auteur Andrew Haigh – whose sure, sensitive hand guided the Nottingham-set gay heartbreaker Weekend and the late-life marital crisis study 45 Years – might be his most narratively classical to date, following the enterprising, orphaned Oregon teenager Charley (Charlie Plummer) and his ageing steed Pete on a trek across middle America, in search of sanctuary with an estranged relative in Wyoming. Delicately adapted from Willy Vlautin’s 2010 novel, it follows classical narrative arcs of both the coming-of-age story and the great American road movie, yet with precious little of the romanticism and sentimentality that tends to accompany them: Haigh, rather like his stoic protagonist, keeps his eye quietly and pragmatically on the destination. Related: Lean on Pete review – Andrew Haigh's equine epic is as comforting as a country ballad Continue reading...

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Jakarta’s urban poor have found a new way to fight City Hall – and win

Residents of informal neighbourhoods are seeking the help of lawyers, architects and journalists to save their homes from the bulldozersOn the official spatial planning map of Jakarta, Arti Astati’s neighbourhood on the coast is painted blue. As far as City Hall is concerned, there are no people there. Just the sea. Astati begs to differ. This informal urban neighbourhood, or kampung, is home to about 1,000 people, many of whom work in the green mussel fishery. But the city did not recognise their existence – and after decades of neglect, it threatened the kampung with forced eviction. Continue reading...

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On fossil poo and picky eaters: a new study sheds light on New Zealand's past ecosystem

Advanced DNA techniques shows the critical role extinct birds played in New Zealand’s ecosystem. Extinction is a sad process, as it means the irreversible loss of a species. However, as species do not exist in a vacuum, the effects of extinction do not simply extend only to the loss of species X or Y, but ripple through a whole ecosystem. Particularly for island ecosystems, which have a limited number of species, the loss of one species can lead to ecosystem collapse.For instance, the Hawaiian Islands suffered dramatic extinctions of bird species with the arrival of Europeans. Microscopic studies showed pollen grains adhering to the head feathers on preserved specimens of these extinct birds. Not only did we lose a large number of unique bird species, the Hawaiian ecosystem also lost many of its pollinators (Cox, 1983). The result? Dwindling numbers of many native plants. Continue reading...

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A close shave and a Lula demo: Wednesday's top photos

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world Continue reading...

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West of West: Santa Monica pier and 'the end of America' - a photo essay

Santa Monica, where the wooden pier juts out into the Pacific Ocean, marks the end of Route 66 and the final American frontier. Amid the ferris wheel, candyfloss and sunbathers, Guardian photographer Sarah Lee and writer Laura Barton ponder what the American West means in an age of political turbulenceMake a pledge to West of West’s Unbound pageThere is a photograph that I always think sums up my working relationship with the Guardian photographer Sarah Lee. It shows us standing in a boutique in California, trying on elaborate hats and posing in the mirror as sunlight streams through the windows. It was taken in the early spring of 2013, a few days after Sarah called me and asked if I’d be interested in walking the length of Sunset Boulevard with her. I immediately said yes, scrabbled for a ticket, and headed west with little thought of what I would write or where it belonged, only that I knew how much I wanted us to work together. Continue reading...

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The dramatic melting of Arctic icebergs – in pictures

Photographer Francesco Bosso travelled to Greenland to capture images of the melting icebergs, which he describes as ‘gems of nature in danger of extinction’. The results are presented in his new book, Last Diamonds Continue reading...

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