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  • Critical threat level: who made the decision and what does it mean?
    Posted by Alan Travis and Ewen MacAskill on May 24, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Move following Manchester bombing will be third time UK has been at highest level since inception, with soldiers to be deployed under Operation TempererManchester bombing: latest updatesWhat we know so farThe first visible signs of the deployment of 984 soldiers on the streets of Britain will be on Wednesday afternoon outside Downing Street, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace as they “backfill” guarding duties at key sites currently carried out by armed police officers.Both the prime minister and home secretary made clear in their announcement of the move that they are extremely wary of the political impact of the sight of armed soldiers patrolling the streets of Britain and want to use them for as short a time as possible. Continue reading... […]

  • Frankie Paul obituary
    Posted by Peter Mason on May 24, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Leading figure in reggae music who spearheaded the dancehall revolutionThe singer Frankie Paul, who has died aged 51 of complications related to kidney failure, was a leading light in reggae music during the 1980s and 90s. He was one of the key figures in the movement away from Rasta-influenced roots reggae to the new ascendancy of less spiritual but hugely popular dancehall music, becoming a prolific recording artist with dozens of albums to his name and a global profile enhanced by touring.Paul’s rich tone and impressive vocal range would have graced any style of reggae music, but time and place dictated that he stood in the vanguard of an 80s dancehall revolution that essentially ditched roots reggae’s interest in social, political or religious matters and turned instead to more down-to-earth or downright frivolous topics. Continue reading... […]

  • Angels in America is more relevant than ever: minorities are never safe | Chris Parkes
    Posted by Chris Parkes on May 24, 2017 at 8:00 am

    History shows that in times of political and economic stress, seemingly secure rights come under attack. And now is one of those timesIt is no surprise that Angels in America’s London revival has struck a chord. Set during the depths of the Aids epidemic, Tony Kushner’s play recalls a darker time for LGBT people – gay men in particular – that reminds us of the progress we’ve made since the 1980s while remonstrating with us for feeling any complacency about the status of LGBT rights in the west today. Contrary to popular belief, the history of public attitudes toward LGBT people is not a heartwarming tale of progress.Time and again, public toleration of sexual and gender nonconformity has rapidly curdled into reactionary bigotry and violence. History is neither cyclical nor predetermined but there are detectable patterns in the way societies treat marginalised citizens. During times of economic and political stress, boundaries of permissible behaviour for women and sexual minorities are suddenly curtailed, seemingly in defiance of conventional wisdom and preceding periods of expanding tolerance. Related: Angels in America at the National Theatre – in pictures Related: Moonlight is a powerful affirmation for gay black men: we’re supposed to exist | Josh Lee Continue reading... […]

  • ‘My mum has been driver, cook and canvasser. The state leaves a gaping hole’ | Marie Tidball
    Posted by Marie Tidball on May 24, 2017 at 7:00 am

    The Labour candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon on the barriers facing disabled people who aim to stand for election – and how to remove themAs a disability rights activist and someone with a disability, I’m proud to be the Labour party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon: the constituency where Kathy Mohan took Theresa May to task last week for her government’s treatment of disabled people. May was wrongfooted while the nation watched. Related: Why are so few disabled candidates standing for parliament? | Frances Ryan Exclusionary policies mean that many disabled people are living in fear, pushed out of the jobs market and into poverty Continue reading... […]

  • Why are so few disabled candidates standing for parliament? | Frances Ryan
    Posted by Frances Ryan on May 24, 2017 at 6:30 am

    Less than one percent of MPs are disabled. Taking away vital financial support is only set to make this under-representation worseParked up in a field, Mary Griffiths Clarke – the Labour prospective parliamentary candidate for Arfon, in north Wales – is spending the general election campaign living in a caravan. Griffiths Clarke, 36, grew up 30 miles from here in Snowdonia and now lives in London.Arfon is a Labour marginal target (Plaid Cymru currently holds the seat with a majority of 3,668) and Griffiths Clarke is clearly passionate about helping the area. “Whenever I go home, I see the high streets have become a ghost town. People are having to quit work because there’s no bus services now to get them there,” she says. Related: ‘My mum has been driver, cook and canvasser. The state leaves a gaping hole’ | Marie Tidball Related: Disabled people matter – let’s make our votes count | Frances Ryan Continue reading... […]

  • Ariana Grande 'broken' as musicians react to Manchester terror attack
    Posted by Oliver Holmes on May 24, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Singer whose concert was bombed says ‘I don’t have the words’ as figures from music world voice their shock and sympathyManchester attack - latest updatesWhat we know so farFull reportAriana Grande, whose concert at the Manchester Arena was targeted in an attack on Monday night, has joined other celebrities in expressing horror at the events.The American pop star, who was not hurt in the blast, tweeted that she was “broken” by news of casualties. broken. from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don't have words.pic.twitter.com/HkR9ilSTStMy heart hurts for my sister, Ariana & every family affected by this tragic event in the U.K. Innocent lives lost. I'm so sorry to hear thisMy thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I'm sending all my love.I'm heartbroken over what happened in Manchester tonight.Sending love to everyone involved. Hevery musician feels sick & responsible tonight—shows should be safe for you. truly a worst nightmare. sending love to manchester & ariMy thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this horrific act in Manchester. We need to do better. We need to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.#Manchester has always been so close to my heart! These are innocent vulnerable kids, this could've been any of us! I'm devastated!Praying for the beautiful souls we lost, their families and loved ones, for the survivors who will forever be impacted by this #ManchesterManchester stands together.My hearts broken.Our hearts go out to the victims and their families affected #WeStandTogether #Manchester Continue reading... […]

  • Jaguar Land Rover posts record sales thanks to demand in China and US
    Posted by Angela Monaghan on May 24, 2017 at 6:04 am

    UK’s biggest car manufacturer sold 604,009 vehicles in 12 months to end of March, the most in its 95-year historyJaguar Land Rover has delivered a record year of sales bolstered by demand for luxury cars in China and North America.Britain’s biggest car manufacturer sold 604,009 vehicles in the 12 months to the end of March, the most in its 95-year history and 16% more than a year earlier. Continue reading... […]

  • Why a ‘liberal’ pope is playing host to Donald Trump | Catherine Pepinster
    Posted by Catherine Pepinster on May 24, 2017 at 6:00 am

    Progressive Catholics want Francis to be an alternative voice, and diplomacy requires dialogue with people you don’t agree withWhen the president of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, visited the Vatican on Monday, he gave Pope Francis a gold and white bell, a symbol of their mutual concern about global warming. It’s usual for heads of state and the pope to exchange gifts during a meeting but it’s hard to imagine Donald Trump, who is due to visit Pope Francis on Wednesday, would ever consider a gift that might have anything to do with climate change. The US president thinks global warming was invented by the Chinese to harm American manufacturing, while the pope is so convinced of its existence he wrote a papal document dedicated to climate change and its consequences for the world’s poorest.This is just one of the issues on which the pope and the president do not see eye to eye. They are diametrically opposed on what the world should be doing about refugees, migrants and walls. For while Trump has advocated building a wall to keep out migrants crossing into the US from Mexico, and said that the Mexicans should pay for it, Francis said this year that it was a Christian calling to “not raise walls but bridges, to not respond to evil with evil, to overcome evil with good”. Related: Pope tells leaders in first TED talk: act humbly or power will ruin you Continue reading... […]

  • Second Manchester bomb victim named as eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos
    Posted by Sandra Laville, Alexandra Topping and Severin Carrell on May 24, 2017 at 5:45 am

    ‘Beautiful little girl’ was at Ariana Grande concert in Manchester with her mother and sister when the explosion happenedManchester bombing: latest updatesAn eight-year-old girl, who was described by her school as “simply beautiful”, was the youngest fatality named so far of the suicide bomber who struck at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. Related: Manchester bombing: more victims named as threat level is raised to critical – live news Related: 'Go sing with the angels': families and friends pay tribute to Manchester victims The family of Olivia Campbell 15, missing since last night's bomb are desperately searching hospitals for her. Here's her boyfriends dad pic.twitter.com/mDHYZBQm0iPlease...please reetweet. Looking for my daughter and her friend . Laura Macintyre and Eilidh Macleod #manchesterattack pic.twitter.com/1N0cikPQEfMY FRIEND @makosavenue WAS AT THE ARIANA CONCERT AND HER FAMILY CANT CONTACT HER! PLS RT SO SHE CAN BE FOUND #PrayForManchester pic.twitter.com/XFt2KLP7kdNell Jones. Still missing. She was on crutches and hasn't been heard from! Keep looking for Nell! Family very worried! #ManchesterArena pic.twitter.com/C7gNYSQ8Cf Continue reading... […]

  • NHS faces staggering increase in cost of elderly care, academics warn
    Posted by Sarah Boseley Health editor on May 24, 2017 at 5:30 am

    2.8 million people over 65 will need nursing and social care by 2025 – largely because of a significant rise in dementia-related disability, research findsThe NHS and social care system in the UK is facing a staggering increase in the cost of looking after elderly people within the next few years, according to major new research which shows a 25% increase in those who will need care between 2015 and 2025.Within eight years, there will be 2.8 million people over 65 needing nursing and social care, unable to cope alone, says the research – largely because of the toll of dementia in a growing elderly population. The research, published by the respected Lancet Public Health medical journal, says cases of disability related to dementia will rise by 40% among people aged 65 to 84, with other forms of disability increasing by about 31%. Continue reading... […]

  • Salad days soon over: consumers throw away 40% of bagged leaves
    Posted by Rebecca Smithers Consumer affairs correspondent on May 24, 2017 at 5:04 am

    Exclusive: Britons fail to eat 178m bags of salad every year, say Tesco and government waste body Wrap, in study highlighting food wasteBritons throw away 40% of the bagged salad they buy every year, according to the latest data, with 37,000 tonnes – the equivalent of 178m bags – going uneaten every year.The figures from the government’s waste advisory body Wrap are being published on Wednesday by the supermarket giant Tesco to highlight that prepared salads are still among the UK’s most wasted household foods. Past studies have shown that the average UK family throws away £700 of food each year. Related: We all love bagged salads – but they’re the tip of the food waste iceberg | Aine Carlin Related: Less than 1% of surplus food from farms and manufacturers used to feed hungry Continue reading... […]

  • Manchester reminds all parents of the never-ending dread of losing a child | Gaby Hinsliff
    Posted by Gaby Hinsliff on May 24, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Having children is a long process of daring yourself to let them go. Even this atrocity won’t change thatStumble downstairs, flick the kettle on, shout at the kids to hurry up and get dressed.Morning routines will have unfurled in homes across Britain today much as always. And yet not quite. Children will have been hugged tighter than usual at the school gate, without understanding why. Parents will have foraged for football kit and mopped up spilt cereal feeling frankly grateful for the sheer ordinariness of it all. It is impossible not to think of all the parents whose children did not come home from Manchester Arena last night, and who would give anything now to be nagging them about their homework. Related: The bombing in Manchester has brought national trauma. We must not lash out | Jonathan Romain To love is to fear, but learn not to show it Continue reading... […]

  • Facebook struggles with 'mission impossible' to stop online extremism
    Posted by Nick Hopkins on May 24, 2017 at 5:00 am

    Social media giant faces criticism for doing too little to prevent extremist content as terrorists find ways of bypassing its rulesFacebook moderators identified more than 1,300 posts on the site as “credible terrorist threats” in a single month and face a “mission impossible” to control the amount of content proliferated by extremists, according to internal documents and testimony provided to the Guardian.A document circulated to the teams tasked with policing the site says there were 1,340 “credible terrorist threat escalations” last August. Related: How Facebook guides moderators on terrorist content Related: Contact the Guardian securely Continue reading... […]

  • The cuckoo is back and all's right with the world
    Posted by Paul Evans on May 24, 2017 at 4:30 am

    Wenlock Edge, Shropshire This is the cow parsley moment, its blossom making foamy bow waves against hawthorn hedges along the roadThe lanes are luminous with the white pulse of May: cow parsley, hawthorn, hogweed, garlic, stichwort. In fields there are pale lambs and dandelion clocks and stands of horse chestnut in candle. White on green. Green on white.It is evening and the birds are fractious. I am listening to an old story so nearly forgotten that its retelling sounds strange and new. Related: Country diary: Waltham Brooks, West Sussex: The umpteenth cuckoo of spring Continue reading... […]

  • Terrorists see reason in madness of targeting public events | Jason Burke
    Posted by Jason Burke on May 24, 2017 at 4:00 am

    Islamic extremists hit ‘lifestyle’ targets in the hope of convincing us we face a threat that is as ubiquitous as it is unpredictableIn the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, a network of young militants formed in London and discussed targets. They did not talk about embassies, army bases or planes. Instead they spoke of attacking “pubs … nightclubs”, and stockpiled enough ammonium nitrate fertiliser to build a huge bomb.The network’s leader was secretly recorded by MI5 suggesting attacking a major shopping mall and the Ministry of Sound nightclub. Continue reading... […]

  • Woyzeck review – John Boyega shines as traumatised soldier in 80s Berlin
    Posted by Michael Billington on May 23, 2017 at 11:34 pm

    Old Vic, LondonWhereas Georg Büchner’s original masterpiece allows audience to fill in the blanks, Jack Thorne’s updated version piles the pressure on the title characterThis production has a lot going for it: the title role is played by John Boyega who was Finn in Star Wars: The Force Awakens; the script is by Jack Thorne who successfully translated Harry Potter to the stage; the ultimate source is also a seminal masterpiece by Georg Büchner, left unfinished at his death in 1837. Yet, for all the skill on display, I felt that one of the classics of modern drama had not just been radically revised, but overlaid with excessive invention. Related: John Boyega: from Peckham, to the Death Star, to the Old Vic Related: Achtung! Jack Thorne on braving the strange, monstrous world of Woyzeck Continue reading... […]

  • Salman Ramadan Abedi named by police as Manchester Arena attacker
    Posted by Ian Cobain, Frances Perraudin, Steven Morris, Nazia Parveen on May 23, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    Manchester police say 22-year-old was responsible for suicide attack that killed 22 and injured 59 at Ariana Grande concertManchester boming - latest updatesWhat we know so farSalman Abedi unlikely to have been acting alone, says Rudd The man who murdered 22 people and injured 59 others has been named as Salman Ramadan Abedi, a Mancunian of Libyan descent.Police confirmed the 22-year-old’s identity after officials in the United States passed it to news reporters, apparently against the wishes of the British police and security services. Related: Manchester bombing: more victims named as threat level is raised to critical – live news Related: Second Manchester bomb victim named as eight-year-old Saffie Rose Roussos Continue reading... […]

  • Soldiers on UK streets as threat raised to critical after Manchester bombing
    Posted by Robert Booth, Vikram Dodd, Sandra Laville and Ewen MacAskill on May 23, 2017 at 9:25 pm

    Theresa May raises level for first time since 2007, signalling that further attack may be imminentManchester attack – latest updatesSoldiers are being sent on to Britain’s streets to help the police and a second terror attack may be imminent following the Manchester concert bombing, Theresa May has said.The prime minister raised the threat level from severe to critical for the first time since July 2007, meaning “not only that an attack remains highly likely but a further attack may be imminent”. Related: Manchester bombing: more victims named as threat level is raised to critical – live news Continue reading... […]

  • Steve Bell on the Manchester Arena attack – cartoon
    Posted by Steve Bell on May 23, 2017 at 8:48 pm

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  • Wind surfing to the edge of space
    Posted by David Hambling on May 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Scientists plan to explore mountain waves by flying the Perlan II glider to the record-breaking stratospheric altitude of 90,000ftWhen winds meet mountain ranges they are diverted upwards to follow the slopes. But before descending again winds can continue on an upward path, shooting towards space. Under the right conditions, the winds can bounce along in an undulating up-and-down pattern for hundreds of miles, a pattern known as lee or mountain waves. Related: US scientists launch world's biggest solar geoengineering study Continue reading... […]