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12/16/2018 10:30 PM
Brexit: PM to urge parliament not to 'break faith with the people'

Theresa May’s statement aims to stifle growing demands for second referendum

Theresa May will urge MPs on Monday not to “break faith with the British people” by demanding a second referendum, as she faces intense pressure to give parliament a say on Brexit before Christmas.

The prime minister will make a statement to MPs on last week’s European council summit in Brussels, from which she returned with little evidence of progress in securing legal reassurances on the Irish backstop.

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12/17/2018 12:01 AM
Workers get new rights in overhaul but zero-hours contracts remain

Measures include protections for agency workers and heavier fines for malicious employees

The government has introduced what it claims to be the biggest package of workplace reforms for 20 years after concerns that ministers have failed to appeal to voters who are “just about managing”.

Legislation that comes into effect on Monday will increase fines for employers who have deliberately victimised their staff, and give workers details of their rights from the first day in their job.

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12/17/2018 03:40 AM
Yael Stone alleges Geoffrey Rush acted inappropriately towards her in dressing room, a claim he denies

New York Times interview with Orange is the New Black star Stone details a string of alleged incidents during production of The Diary of a Madman

The Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has denied acting inappropriately towards Orange is the New Black star Yael Stone during a 2010 theatre production.

On Monday the New York Times published an interview in which Stone alleged Rush engaged in inappropriate behaviour when the two actors were co-stars in a 2010 theatre production of The Diary of a Madman.

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12/17/2018 12:01 AM
Guardian most trusted newspaper in Britain, says industry report

News outlet reaches more than 23m UK adults every month, helped by free website

The Guardian is the most trusted newspaper in Britain as well as being the most read quality news outlet, and the most popular quality news outlet among younger readers, according to industry figures released on Monday.

The Guardian is now reaching more than 23 million British adults every month, with the organisation’s articles being read by 12 million Britons in a typical week and 4.1 million on the average day, aided by the decision to keep the website free for all readers.

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12/17/2018 06:01 AM
Chronic fatigue syndrome 'could be triggered by overactive immune system'

Research suggests body’s response to infection may be responsible for onset of CFS

An overactive immune response appears to be a trigger for persistent fatigue, say researchers in a study that could shed light on the causes of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a debilitating long-term condition in which individuals experience exhaustion that is not helped by rest, as well as pain, mental fogginess and trouble with memory and sleep. It is also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME).

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12/17/2018 06:01 AM
Housing market: average UK asking price dips £10,000

Larger than usual festive slowdown alarms market with London, east and south-east England worst hit

Asking prices for homes coming on to the market in the UK are nearly £10,000 lower than they were in October, as the property market headed for its worst annual performance in almost a decade.

The average asking price of a UK home dipped by 3.2%, or £9,719, between October and December to £297,527, according to the property website Rightmove, with prices dipping 1.7% and 1.5% in November and December respectively.

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12/17/2018 12:01 AM
Private consultants paid at least £26m in NHS shake-up

BMA calls it ‘unacceptable’ to see so much money ‘flowing away from patient care’

Private consultants have been paid at least £26m as part of the reorganisation of the NHS, in what the doctors’ union described as an “unacceptable” transfer of money away from patient care.

They include some of the world’s biggest consultancy companies, which have been tasked with projects looking at such things as “reviewing demand and capacity” and “supporting sustainability”.

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12/17/2018 12:01 AM
Many pupils in England hungry and badly clothed, say teachers

Union says schools overwhelmed by funding cuts and increasing child poverty

Teachers have warned that growing levels of poverty across England are having a devastating effect on pupils, with more children going hungry and being unable to afford warm clothes this winter.

The findings from the National Education Union paint a harrowing picture of day-to-day poverty in schools. Teachers say that a lack of food, poor housing and unsuitable clothes are overwhelming pupils and cash-strapped schools.

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12/16/2018 10:40 PM
Colin Kroll, HQ Trivia and Vine app co-founder, dies in New York aged 34

Police find technology entrepreneur unconscious on his bed in Manhattan apartment

Colin Kroll, a technology executive who co-founded the HQ Trivia app, has been found dead in New York at the age of 34.

The city’s police department said officers had gone to Kroll’s Manhattan apartment early on Sunday after getting a call asking for a wellbeing check on him. He was found unconscious and unresponsive on his bed.

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12/17/2018 05:45 AM
Russian off the shelves: Vladimir Putin calendar sells out in Japan

Chain with exclusive rights to Russian president’s 2019 offering says it is more popular than those featuring homegrown celebrities

Whether he’s nonchalantly lowering himself into the icy waters of Lake Seliger or making short work of weights in the gym, Vladimir Putin is setting pulses racing in Japan, where his latest calendar is outselling those featuring homegrown celebrities.

The Loft chainstore, which has exclusive rights over sales of the calendar, reported that those featuring Russia’s 66-year-old president were dominating sales at its outlets across Japan.

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12/17/2018 03:00 AM
2018: a terrible year for Facebook – podcast

Facebook has been hit by a series of data, privacy and hate speech scandals this year. Alex Hern, the Guardian’s UK tech editor, discusses how Mark Zuckerberg has responded. Plus the Guardian environment reporter Oliver Milman on returning to Paradise, California, after the deadliest fire in the state’s history

It has not been a good year for Facebook. The company has been hit by a series of scandals about data, privacy and hate speech. In March, the Guardian and Observer published the Cambridge Analytica Files, an investigation that revealed about 50 million US Facebook users had had their data harvested, largely without their knowledge or consent.

Alex Hern, the Guardian’s UK tech editor, discusses how Mark Zuckerberg responded to the crisis, and the others that followed, including Facebook’s involvement in human rights and environmental violations in Myanmar and its use of the PR firm Definers Public Affairs. Plus the Guardian environment reporter Oliver Milman returns to Paradise, California, and meets residents whose homes were destroyed by the deadliest fire in the state’s history.

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12/14/2018 03:00 AM
Is the net closing in on Donald Trump? – podcast

The investigation into Donald Trump’s election campaign has resulted in guilty pleas from some of the president’s former inner circle. The Guardian’s Jon Swaine in New York considers what we have learned so far from Robert Mueller’s forensic investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election. Plus: Robert Booth on the first phase of the inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire

Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election has seen the latest in a series of high-profile guilty pleas in recent weeks. The president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen joined his former campaign chair Paul Manafort and his former national security adviser Michael Flynn in cooperating with the FBI.

The Guardian’s Jon Swaine takes Anushka Asthana through the major turning points so far in Mueller’s inquiry and considers where it could go next. Is the net closing in on the president, his property business and his immediate family?

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12/13/2018 03:00 AM
Theresa May: a crisis of confidence

After a frenzied day of infighting among Conservative MPs, Theresa May remains prime minister, having survived a vote of confidence in her leadership. But how damaging has the episode been for her party? Anushka Asthana hears from the Guardian’s Jessica Elgot and Conservative MPs Ben Bradley, Nicky Morgan and Sarah Wollaston. Plus: Natalie Nougayrède on a make-or-break week for Emmanuel Macron

So Theresa May battles on. Her enemies in the Conservative party tried to remove her – and they monumentally failed. The prime minister has survived a confidence vote and will now attempt to resuscitate her faltering Brexit deal.

But the day’s drama exposed the splits in Britain’s ruling party. Divisions are ideological, bitter and increasingly personal.

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12/17/2018 06:00 AM
From a panto dame to a Crisis chef: meet the people who make Christmas

What would the festive season be without cracker jokes, toys, carols, reindeer and a Sugar Plum Fairy? We meet those who work year-round to make the Yuletide special

Being a dame needs a certain kind of personality. You’ve got to have an inner courage to stand in front of an audience in makeup and a frock and tell them they are going to have a good time. And panto is a completely different style of work from straight theatre: some people take to it, and some people just don’t get it. I remember a panto with a very famous actor playing Captain Hook, and you could tell he hated being there. And the kids could tell, so they started hating him. The audience know if you’re not having a good time; they will sniff you out.

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12/16/2018 09:04 PM
Geraint Thomas wins BBC Sports Personality of the Year award
  • Welshman became only third Briton to win the Tour de France
  • England women’s netball team win greatest sporting moment

The Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas rode a wave of public support to become the BBC’s sports personality of the year and continue cycling’s recent dominance of the prize.

Thomas was the fourth cyclist since 2008 to win the award after Sir Chris Hoy, Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins before him. The 32-year-old received endorsement on the night from Hoy, amongst others on social media, helping to rally the vote as Thomas forced five-time world Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton into second place. Third place in the poll, which was decided by votes cast on the night by viewers, was England striker Harry Kane, top scorer in the World Cup.

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12/17/2018 01:47 AM
Our lock-and-leave culture: the rise of self-storage and clinging to stuff we hardly use

Moving, downsizing, long-term renovations, deceased estates and divorce are all factors in the relentlessly increasing demand for off-site storage

About once every six weeks I go to my least happy place. It’s a massive warehouse in the industrial back blocks of Port Kembla, near Wollongong in New South Wales, housing a storage facility called Super Easy Storage. Because it is a no-frills operation, it does not offer 24-hour access like the more upmarket companies do, so I have to call ahead to say I am coming, giving a minimum of three days’ notice so they can arrange to make our plywood crates available, shifting them to ground level from towering stacks that stretch in an endless cubist landscape of anonymous geometry.

The crates (which Super Easy calls modules or pods to make them sound groovier) contain the possessions my mother has brought with her as part of her decision to relocate to Australia from the UK after 60 years and live with us. A brutal cull reduced her possessions by two thirds, but she still brought 2,000 cookbooks, as well as a vast trilingual general library, a cumbersome early-model knitting machine she has not used in a decade but cannot bear to part with, extravagant quantities of china, canteens of cutlery, a battery of professional cookware sufficient to equip a small restaurant, enough fabric to open a shop, a collection of vintage luxury-brand handbags, the wardrobe of Marie Antoinette and all her furniture. Many pieces are fragile, obsolete, or of little value, except of the sentimental kind.

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12/17/2018 06:00 AM
The 50 best TV shows of 2018: No 4 – Patrick Melrose

David Nicholls turned Edward St Aubyn’s books into a heart-wrenching account of abuse and addiction, carried by a majestic Benedict Cumberbatch

The louche, addled aristocrat Patrick Melrose is dining in New York with Marianne, an old friend of a friend who doesn’t drink because it “dulls the senses and blurs the edges”. “Your point being?” Melrose replies. In the opening episode of this stunning five-part drama, adapted by David Nicholls from Edward St Aubyn’s semi-autobiographical novels, Melrose’s devotion to such dulling and blurring is made abundantly clear.

He’s in New York to collect the remains of his recently deceased father and although it’s immediately apparent that the relationship was uneasy, early intimations of family strife are no kind of preparation for what follows. In fact, the opening episode is often darkly comic. Melrose careered around the city in search of oblivion; swigging, snorting and shooting whatever liquids, powders and chemicals he can get his hands on. He isn’t a sympathetic character. Troubled but arrogant, he roams the streets protected by the kind of invisible force-field of entitlement that only inexhaustible piles of unearned wealth can construct.

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12/16/2018 06:47 PM
Attack on refugee family highlights rising hate crime in Bolton

Town has taken a high number of asylum seekers and refugees, and hate crime complaints are rising

High on a hill above Bolton on a sunny Sunday in June, a mother and three children were rushing for a bus on their way to church when they encountered an angry local man, Dale Hart.

They had not been in Bolton long, having arrived on the UN’s Gateway Protection programme, which offers a legal route for up to 750 long-term refugees to settle in the UK each year via camps in Africa and the Middle East.

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12/17/2018 06:00 AM
The 50 best films of 2018: No 5 – Private Life

Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti were excellent as a sympathetic New York couple struggling to have a baby in Tamara Jenkins’s intensely personal drama

After her intriguing, if flawed, sibling drama Savages in 2007, Tamara Jenkins has returned with another intensely personal film. It is a triumph. She shows an uncanny knack of absorbing and transforming her own experiences into a compelling movie. Private Life is superbly acted and written, giving the audience vivid access to a painful yet funny human drama.

Kathryn Hahn, a seasoned comedy-character turn, is an absolute revelation in the demanding role of Rachel, a New York literary author who has critical prestige but not much in the way of sales. Her partner is Richard, a former off-Broadway theatre director who has retired from this business, without much regret, and now makes a living selling his pickles at artisanal markets. This is a role made for Paul Giamatti, and it is a pleasure to see him in a challenging part to be compared with those in the movies that made his name: American Splendor and Sideways.

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12/16/2018 04:59 PM
Guardian and Observer telethon raises £40k in a single Saturday

Appeal for Windrush migrant charities reaches nearly £300k in just over a week

The Guardian and Observer 2018 appeal telethon in support of Windrush migrant charities took £40,000 in a day on Saturday, pushing the overall total raised to nearly £300,000 in just over a week.

Throughout the day a team of journalists including Owen Jones, Katharine Viner, Gary Younge, John Crace and Marina Hyde turned the Guardian newsroom into a pop-up call centre to take phone donations from readers.

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12/16/2018 04:13 PM
'What if they arrest me?': the legal teams saving people from unfair deportation

Hundreds have benefited from a free legal service – but caseworkers are having to turn down clients as demand surges
• Please donate to our appeal here

Caroline Smith* was 18 and facing deportation within months when she first contacted the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI). Encouraged by her college teacher, she rang the charity’s free legal helpline for advice.

Had her caseworker not acted quickly, Smith would probably no longer be in the UK. Case files later obtained from the home office showed an emergency travel document had been secured and a date set for her removal.

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12/17/2018 06:00 AM
Workers’ rights? Bosses don’t care – soon they’ll only need robots | John Harris
Tech companies like Amazon make massive profits yet seem to treat their staff appallingly. As we click, we should consider the dystopia to come

As anyone with a TV will know, Amazon’s Christmas ad campaign is built around a surreal fantasia in which its delivery boxes acquire voices and become a global choir, belting out the Jacksons’ 1980 hit Can You Feel It. It’s pretty clear why Amazon chose the song: the music conveys euphoric optimism, while its lyrics evoke a feelgood creed to which everyone could sign up: “If you look around / The whole world’s coming together now … All the colours of the world should be / Lovin’ each other wholeheartedly.”

While Jeff Bezos’s company pushes its workers through the frenzy of Christmas, some are trying to make that promise of human unity and universal hope a little more specific. In New York, employees at a “fulfilment centre” in Staten Island have announced that they want to break through the company’s longstanding hostility to organised labour, and collectively unionise. On Black Friday there were strikes and protests by Amazon workers in Spain, Germany, France, Italy and the UK against low wages and “inhuman conditions”. In Australia, where the company has been operating for only a year, two unions have combined to try and organise Amazon workers after one activist was sacked from his agency job at a fulfilment centre in Sydney.

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12/16/2018 02:26 PM
A people’s vote on Brexit was a distant hope. Last week changed that | Matthew d’Ancona
Tories inside cabinet have been forced into considering a second vote. But that doesn’t mean the threat of no deal is gone

In the generally dismal year of 2018, one of the most cheering spectacles has been the transformation of the People’s Vote movement from a campaign that could plausibly be presented as the liberal elite demanding its job back, to a grassroots insurgency driven by young people that rallied 700,000 people on to the streets of London in October.

Its true faces are not political figures from the past, but tribunes of the future like Femi Oluwole, Lara Spirit and Will Dry. To quote that astute political observer Mr Zimmerman: “Your old road is/ Rapidly agin’ / Please get out of the new one / If you can’t lend your hand.”

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12/17/2018 05:59 AM
Why are the Tories still seen as strong on the economy? | Nesrine Malik

Despite Brexit chaos and the failures of austerity, Theresa May still says Britain’s greatest threat is a Corbyn government

It usually takes time for established preconceptions to catch up with reality. For political parties, conventional wisdom about their characteristic strengths and opponents’ weaknesses is their bread and butter. It underpins David Cameron’s now famously ironic tweet, ahead of the 2015 election, that the British faced a choice between stability with the Conservatives, or chaos with Ed Miliband. The tweet now stands, like Ozymandias’s hubristic boast, “Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!”, an inscription on a diminishing Conservative party that has spent the last two years cannibalising itself.

And yet, many have still not caught up with the new reality of the Conservatives, because there is another side to the party where perceptions haven’t changed. Last week the Wall Street Journal published a report announcing that there was only thing investors in the UK feared more than Brexit: Jeremy Corbyn. “It isn’t just Brexit that has investors on edge in the UK,” the article warned, “it’s the possibility of a new Labour government run by an avowed socialist.” Quotes from analysts described a Labour victory as a “lose-lose proposition”, “apocalyptic” and “Armageddon”.

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12/16/2018 05:37 PM
At last, divestment is hitting the fossil fuel industry where it hurts | Bill McKibben
Trillions of dollars of investments are being taken out of carbon-intensive companies. Governments must now take notice

I remember well the first institution to announce it was divesting from fossil fuel. It was 2012 and I was on the second week of a gruelling tour across the US trying to spark a movement. Our roadshow had been playing to packed houses down the west coast, and we’d crossed the continent to Portland, Maine. As a raucous crowd jammed the biggest theatre in town, a physicist named Stephen Mulkey took the mic. He was at the time president of the tiny Unity College in the state’s rural interior, and he announced that over the weekend its trustees had voted to sell their shares in coal, oil and gas companies. “The time is long overdue for all investors to take a hard look at the consequences of supporting an industry that persists in destructive practices,” he said.

Related: The Guardian view on global warming: time is running out | Editorial

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12/16/2018 06:25 PM
The Guardian view on COP24: while climate talks continue, there is hope | Editorial
The agreement struck in Poland is not strong enough, but the UN process is all we have

The first thing to say about the compromise struck at climate talks in Poland at the weekend is that it came as a relief. Ever since President Trump’s announcement in 2017 that the US would withdraw from the Paris agreement, the question has been whether the UN process could continue to work. Much like the communique that came out of the recent G20, the agreement on a set of rules to implement promises made in Paris shows that while multilateralism has been damaged, it is not dead. Flawed and inadequate though it is, the process that has developed since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change was signed in Rio in 1992 is still the best hope we have of staving off the most terrifying impacts of global warming.

The sticking point of carbon credits, with new demands from Brazil regarding the treatment of forests, was pushed back to next year. But the agreement on how governments will measure and report on emissions cuts is important. The dynamic that previously pitted developing against developed countries has significantly shifted.

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12/16/2018 10:14 PM
With football this dire you have to wonder if José Mourinho is enjoying it | Barney Ronay

Romelu Lukaku is another clearly struggling under the regime at Manchester United, with no sign of improvement in sight

With 10 minutes left at Anfield Romelu Lukaku set off on a dummy run towards the touchline, then turned to take the ball back from the player he imagined to be standing behind him. Except that player was Virgil van Dijk, who plays for Liverpool.

Lukaku stopped, looked baffled, almost seemed ready to scratch his head. They say the best players carry a picture around with them, a flashing radar screen of every other moving part on the pitch. On a cold, wet, merciless day at Anfield Lukaku seemed to be carrying a picture of something else altogether, a game of noughts and crosses perhaps or a hastily sketched pencil drawing of a hamster.

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12/17/2018 06:11 AM
Australia v India: second Test, day four – live!
  • Updates from the fourth day of play at Perth Stadium
  • Any thoughts? Email or tweet @collinsadam

90th over: Australia 218-9 (Starc 5, Hazlewood 2) Ishant brought on for Bumrah to try and finish the job. He can’t do it here, Hazlewood giving the strike back to Starc with a flash down to third man, the Indian attack-leader spraying the final ball waaaay down the legside to gift Australia their seond batch of four byes this session. I feel for Pant there, it should have been wides.

Interesting perspective from Louis Cameron, the former Victorian Sheffield Shield quick who has made a very successful move into the press box.

Almost better off declaring rather than expose your tailenders on this pitch at the moment. Every run is precious, but your bowlers' well-being more important.

Five wickets in that hour. 5/23 to be precise. Shami nabbed four of those in a truly dangerous spell, Bumrah the other with one that went underground to Cummins.

“Here’s some new, swing talent out of Manipur, Rex Singh, grabbing 10 for 11 in 9.5 overs,” emails Ravi Raman. Wonderful footage.

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12/16/2018 10:52 PM
New-look Spoty hits the right note with Baddiel, Skinner and Three Lions | Barry Glendenning
The organisers tweaked the format and a lively evening of music and razzmatazz ensued, with a little space left for sport

Who knew netball was so popular? Is sliding downhill really a sport? And how unloved must Chris Froome feel at being the best British Team Sky rider never to have won this public vote? These and other questions were asked, but not necessarily answered, as the Tour de France-winning cyclist Geraint Thomas accepted the famous silver four-turret lens camera trophy that is presented annually to the winner of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Having beaten Lewis Hamilton and Harry Kane into the minor placings at Birmingham’s Genting Arena, the visibly stunned Welshman accepted his award from Billie Jean King, who was also honoured for her own lifetime achievements. She had earlier delivered a rousing speech espousing the virtues of tolerance and inclusion at an event fabled for dividing public opinion to a degree that is quite frankly weird.

When he was not upsetting colleagues (Aggers, do stop it!) by defending his right to air understandable views on the folly of Brexit on Twitter last week, Gary Lineker, who co-hosted alongside Clare Balding and Gabby Logan, took one journalist to task for airing similarly forthright views on the folly of the often maligned annual orgy of self-congratulatory backslapping that is Spoty. “Why do you get angry?” he asked. “Seriously? It’s a television awards show. Granted, an award that is revered by those in contention and watched and largely enjoyed by a huge audience, but it is still just a TV show. Find your annual angst as bewildering as it is amusing.”

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12/16/2018 06:05 PM
Edinburgh have firm grip on Pool Five after victory at Newcastle
• Newcastle 8-21 Edinburgh
• Edinburgh complete double over Falcons

Much has rightly been made of Newcastle’s rise under Dean Richards but this match underlined the excellent work being done by another former Leicester legend as Richard Cockerill’s Edinburgh claimed a famous and deserved victory.

Both men enjoyed glittering careers during their spells at Welford Road and both ended up being sacked. While Richards went on to Harlequins and pitched up at Newcastle in 2012 after a three-year ban from rugby for his part in the Bloodgate scandal, Cockerill has similarly been forced to reinvent himself elsewhere.

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12/16/2018 07:45 PM
Canelo Álvarez builds brand with simple demolition of Rocky Fielding

The all-conquering Mexican’s latest win felt more like a promotional parade than a genuine world title showdown

For years Canelo Álvarez was hailed as the biggest star of boxing’s post-Floyd Mayweather age. After managing to fill Madison Square Garden to capacity on Saturday night for a wildly violent sparring session with the sacrificial lamb Rocky Fielding, that premise appears beyond dispute.

Álvarez, the youngest of seven brothers who each boxed (once all together on the same card), turned professional at 16. He was still a teenager when he signed a contract with Televisa, the TV network known for telenovelas that is among the most watched in all of Latin America. Televisa built him into a household name with his red hair and matinee-idol good looks if not his still-young body of work. That led many sceptical Mexicans to denigrate him as a media creation or, worse, a fraud.

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12/16/2018 11:59 PM
Peter Wright out of World Darts Championship in surprise defeat
• World No 3 beaten 3-1 by Spaniard Toni Alcinas
• Darius Labanauskas to face Raymond van Barneveld

The world No 3, Peter Wright, was knocked out of the PDC World Darts Championship on Sunday night as Toni Alcinas pulled off a surprise 3-1 triumph.

The Spaniard took the first two sets against Scotland’s Wright, who was dressed in a Santa Claus-themed outfit, and the 2014 finalist promptly pulled a set back.

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12/07/2018 12:01 PM
Guardian and Observer appeal 2018: our chosen charities

The work we are supporting defends individuals in the UK’s ‘hostile environment’

  • Please donate to our appeal here

The 2018 Guardian and Observer appeal is supporting five charities which were instrumental in securing justice for the Windrush generation. Their work defends the rights of all whose lives are unfairly disrupted by the UK’s hostile immigration system. Here’s a brief guide to what they do:

Praxis Community Projects

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12/14/2018 12:30 PM
Felicity Cloake and Rachel Roddy’s Christmas desserts - video

The Guardian Feast cooks share tips for making a perfect yule log and prosecco jelly

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12/11/2018 01:19 PM
Can women save Sumo? The crossroads facing Japan's national sport – video

The ancient Japanese ritual of Sumo is in crisis. Only last week, a Mongolian wrestler was forced to retire after assaulting a teammate – but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Years of controversy and scandal, coupled with the country's declining population, have greatly impacted the sport's ability to attract new talent. The Guardian visits Tokyo's Ryōgoku district, the birthplace of Sumo, to see how this iconic institution is adapting to life in the 21st century, and why - despite women being banned from the ring itself - young female fans are flocking to watch it like never before

Yokozuna, controversies and a 'Dump Truck': a sumo history – in pictures

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12/13/2018 11:59 AM
From the Tavern to the Palace: the decade since darts went large – video

It’s now more than a decade since the PDC world championship moved from the Circus Tavern in Purfleet to London’s Alexandra Palace and the game of darts has grown beyond all expectations. We talked to a number of the figures behind the growth of the game both in front and behind the cameras

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12/07/2018 09:45 AM
Yotam Ottolenghi’s Christmas dinner with Grace Dent - video

The star cook serves up a showstopper celebration meal: slow-roast Szechuan pepper lamb with aubergine, plus potato gratin with coconut, chilli and lime, and gingery cucumbers. Our restaurant critic surprises him with a simple, tasty, traditional north of England recipe. Read his recipes and see more videos from Guardian Feast 

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11/28/2018 07:00 AM
​A day with Mr Stop Brexit: crashing TV interviews and fighting Ukip – video

Best known for interrupting news broadcasts and shouting: 'Stop Brexit', Steve Bray has become parliament's most persistent protester since the EU referendum result. So what motivates him to stand in Westminster come rain, wind, sun or snow? 

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11/29/2018 12:01 PM
Skip Day - high school friendship and everyday racism in Florida

Intimate glimpses of one very special day in the lives of high-school seniors from an industrial corner of the Florida Everglades: prom’s over, the future is uncertain, and the irresistible pull of the beach makes the long-time friends drive 60 miles to chill, pose and revel in the waves. Once at the beach, friendship, discussions about what's next, and an unwelcome dose of everyday racism mix. Winner of the Illy Prize for best short film at Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival.

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12/05/2018 12:28 PM
Lloyd Russell-Moyle tells Owen Jones: 'I came out as HIV positive to break down stigma' – video

Labour MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle came out as HIV positive in a speech in the House of Commons. He tells the Guardian’s Owen Jones his diagnosis initially left him feeling like his insides had been ripped out but those fears gradually washed away and he has been able to live his life. He says he hopes his announcement can help break the stigma around HIV and help other people.

An extended version of this interview is available on Owen Jones’s YouTube channel

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12/17/2018 12:01 AM
Manchester moor fires exposed people to ‘shocking’ levels of harmful air

Legal limit for daily exposure to damaging particulate matter was breached five times

Millions of people were exposed to “shocking” levels of harmful air as a result of moor fires that raged across Greater Manchester this summer, a new study has found.

Firefighters and soldiers battled devastating blazes at Winter Hill and Saddleworth Moor for weeks in June and July this year.

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12/16/2018 04:47 PM
Jaguar Land Rover to 'axe up to 5,000 jobs'

Analysts say carmaker will outline job cuts in new year as part of drive to combat Brexit and falling sales

Jaguar Land Rover is planning to announce thousands of job cuts in the new year as part of a £2.5bn savings plan to ward off the threat from Brexit, falling sales in China and a drop in demand for diesel cars.

Britain’s biggest carmaker employs 40,000 in the UK and has already cut 1,000 temporary contract workers at its plant in Solihull, which builds Range Rovers and the Land Rover Discovery SUV. It has also reduced working hours for some workers, including at its Wolverhampton factory in the run-up to Christmas.

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12/17/2018 06:00 AM
Competition rages as growers and sellers prepare for 'peak poinsettia week'

Some UK firms forgo their profits and treat the Christmas must-have as a loss leader

The blaze of red blooms stretches as far as the eye can see, a riot of colour inside the vast greenhouse and a stark contrast with the grey rainy December sky above. The plants will be gift-wrapped the following morning and despatched to Marks & Spencer’s depots for delivery in time for “peak poinsettia week”.

The poinsettia is Marks & Spencer’s biggest selling plant at Christmas. It accounts for 42% of sales of its Christmas plant range, about 10% of its houseplant sales over the year as a whole. The company expects to sell 635,000 poinsettias over the festive season – sales are already up 7% on the same time last year – ranging from a mini plant in a pot for £3 to a gift-wrapped extra large centrepiece for £10.

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12/17/2018 12:01 AM
Local authorities could stop housing asylum seekers, MPs warn

Report says UK councils have lost confidence in system owing to costs and pressures

Councils may pull out of a scheme for housing asylum seekers after carrying a “disproportionate share” of the costs and pressures, a Commons report has warned.

MPs claimed local authorities have “lost confidence” in the system, with some weighing up whether to cease participating.

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12/17/2018 12:01 AM
Blackcurrant crops hit by milder winters, study shows

Researchers warn rising temperatures will cause plants to flower later and die sooner

Milder winters driven by climate change will hit blackcurrant crops, with plants producing fewer and lower quality fruit, according to a new study.

Like many other fruit and woody plants, blackcurrants need a period of chilling before they start to grow in spring. This reduces the risk of frost damage to new buds and makes sure they burst rapidly in the spring and flower together when there are plenty of pollinators such as bees around.

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12/16/2018 10:57 PM
Two-thirds of teachers think of quitting over bad behaviour, survey finds

Many also fears disruptive pupils discourage newcomers to profession, claims thinktank

Three-quarters of teachers frequently have to deal with disruptive behaviour in school and many have considered quitting as a result, a survey has suggested.

Almost two thirds of teachers are considering or have previously thought about leaving the profession, while 71% said would-be teachers are being put off by concerns around poor pupil behaviour, the Policy Exchange thinktank said.

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12/16/2018 05:17 PM
Make climate crisis top editorial priority, XR campaign urges BBC

Extinction Rebellion group call on BBC to tell ‘full truth about ecological emergency’

Climate campaigners are calling on the BBC to declare a climate emergency and make the issue its top editorial priority.

In a letter published in the Guardian, the new civil disobedience group Extinction Rebellion (XR) says the BBC, “as a respected media voice in the UK, needs to play a key role in enabling the transformative change needed”.

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12/16/2018 02:16 PM
Chester zoo confirms animals died in 'heartbreaking' fire

Appeal raises more than £50,000 after blaze killed insects, frogs, fish and birds

Exotic animals including small birds, fish and frogs were killed in a devastating fire at Chester zoo.

The zoo confirmed the loss of life as an appeal raised more than £50,000 in donations barely 24 hours after the blaze on Saturday.

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12/17/2018 03:19 AM
Saudi Arabia rejects US Senate 'interference' in kingdom's affairs

Riyadh condemns vote calling for end US to military aid over Yemen war and vote holding Crown Prince responsible for Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia has rejected as “interference” a US Senate resolution to end American military support for a Riyadh-led war in Yemen, and another holding its crown prince responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects the position expressed recently by the United States Senate, which was based upon unsubstantiated claims and allegations, and contained blatant interferences in the Kingdom’s internal affairs, undermining the Kingdom’s regional and international role,” the statement carried by Saudi Press Agency on Sunday said.

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12/17/2018 12:36 AM
Canadian officials visit second citizen detained in China

Ambassador meets Michael Spavor who was arrested last week; he and Michael Kovrig were held following Huawei boss’s arrest in Canada

Canada’s ambassador to Beijing has met the second Canadian detained in China on suspicion of threatening national security.

The Canadian foreign ministry said ambassador John McCallum met Michael Spavor, a business consultant, two days after visiting another detained Canadian, Michael Kovrig, a thinktank employee.

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