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Israeli strike on Gaza school kills 15 and leaves 200 wounded
UN condemns shelling of UNRWA school, saying it asked IDF for time to evacuate civilians, which was not given Gaza crisis: Israeli strike kills at least 15 live updatesInternational scrutiny of Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip intensified on Thursday when more than 15 Palestinians were killed and 200 injured in a strike on a UN school in northern Gaza crowded with hundreds of displaced civilians. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:43:00 GMT)

Jeremy Hunt demands urgent inspections of chicken factories
Health secretary intervenes after Guardian investigation reveals strict hygiene standards can be disregarded in practiceThe health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, intervened in the row over food hygiene on Thursday demanding that the Food Standards Agency mount an urgent investigation into the processing factories at the heart of a Guardian investigation into contamination in the poultry industry.A safety audit will be carried out within 24 hours at two factories identified by undercover footage, photographic evidence and information from whistleblowers. The evidence showed how strict industry hygiene standards can be disregarded in practice, potentially encouraging the spread of the bacterium campylobacter, which contaminates two-thirds of fresh retail chicken and can cause food poisoning and, in rare cases, death. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:29:26 GMT)

Ukrainian prime minister Arseny Yatseniuk resigns
Yatseniuk quits as he berates parliament for failing to pass law to increase army financing and regulate country's energy situationUkraine's prime minister has resigned after the governing coalition collapsed, in a sign that five months after the Maidan protests led to a change of government, the country's political system is still beset by discord.The government is struggling to defeat an insurgency by pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, where a Malaysia Airlines jet was downed last Thursday. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:36:00 GMT)

Air Algérie flight AH5017 crash brings week's air death toll to 450
François Hollande summons key ministers to crisis meeting after plane comes down with 116 people on board, 51 of them FrenchAn Algerian aircraft carrying 110 passengers and six crew disappeared and was believed to have crashed over northern Africa early on Thursday, the third air tragedy in a week.Flight AH5017 operated by Air Algérie vanished from radar screens around 50 minutes after taking off from Burkina Faso en route for Algiers. It had reportedly asked to divert from its planned course because of heavy rain and poor visibility over northern Mali. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:04:39 GMT)

Golden moments and a silver setback on first day of Commonwealth Games
Brownlee brothers dominate men's triathlon but Sir Bradley Wiggins and cycling squad lose out to AustraliaGlasgow's Commonwealth Games went off with a bang, a beep and plenty of roars yesterday, with England and the Scotland making their marks on the medals table after success in the triathlon, cycling, judo and swimming.The standout performance of the day was arguably that of the Brownlee brothers, Alistair and Jonathan, whose dominance of the men's triathlon was absolute. Gold was claimed for England by the Olympic champion Alistair who was so far ahead at the finish he had time to slow to a walk, collect two flags and applaud his younger sibling across the line for silver. The next closest competitor was a minute and 20 seconds behind them. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:13:32 GMT)

Isis denies ordering that all girls in Mosul undergo FGM
Doubts grow over UN report, seemingly reliant on year-old document from Syria thought to have been doctoredJihadi extremists who have taken over the Iraqi city of Mosul have denied ordering families to have their daughters undergo female genital mutilation in order to prevent "immorality" or face severe punishment, as claimed by a senior UN humanitarian official on Thursday.Supporters of the Islamic State (Isis), previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, dismissed the story as propaganda based on a fake document though residents of Mosul, as well as Kurdish officials, insisted it was true. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:29:27 GMT)

MH17 crash: sanctions against Russia are illegal, ambassador claims
Moscow insists documents that show Russians armed the separatists who shot down Malaysia Airlines plane are forgedThe west is imposing "illegal, unreasonable and counter-productive" sanctions against Russia based on internet forgeries that do not prove any of its missiles shot down the Malaysian airliner, the Russian ambassador to London has said.Shortly before the European Union announced further sanctions against individuals and businesses linked to the Kremlin on Thursday night, Alexander Yakovenko condemned the trade restrictions that have already been imposed and warned that any more "may well trigger a long anticipated endgame of the present global crisis". Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:47:31 GMT)

Undercover Met police unit collected information on families for decades
Police chiefs aware that Special Demonstration Squad, seen as an out-of-control force within a force, 'had lost moral compass'The Scotland Yard undercover unit that gathered intelligence on 18 grieving families was known by police chiefs six years ago to have been so out of control it had "lost [its] moral compass" and become a "force within a force".The claims from a source closely involved in discussions on winding up the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) in 2008 came as a report for the Metropolitan police revealed intelligence was gathered across three decades on family campaigns challenging the Metropolitan police. In several cases the families' struggles exposed the force as failing and telling untruths. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:55:54 GMT)

NHS treats mental health as 'second-class service'
Shadow public health minister says figures show 67% of clinical commissioning groups spend less than 10% of budget on mental health servicesMany parts of the NHS spend as little as 6.6% of their budgets on mental health, even though conditions such as anxiety and depression make up 23% of the service's overall burden of illness.The disclosure has prompted claims that the NHS treats mental health as a second-class service and that patients in areas where few services are provided locally are receiving poorer care as a result. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:00:02 GMT)

Balfour Beatty and Carillion in £3bn merger talks
Huge construction and services company likely to be created if boards recommend it decision must be made before 21 AugustA £3bn construction and services company is likely to be created after Balfour Beatty and Carillion revealed that they are in talks about a merger.Carillion, one of Britain's biggest support services companies with annual revenues of more than £4bn, made an approach to Balfour Beatty, which has been under pressure since Andrew McNaughton departed as chief executive in early May after just a year in the job amid a profit warning. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:22:10 GMT)

Arizona lawyers lead call for inquiry into Joseph Wood's two-hour execution
Repblican senator John McCain describes botched execution as 'torture' as controversy intensifies about death penalty drug secrecy Witness to a two-hour execution: Joseph Wood's final 117 minutesLawyers for the latest US inmate to endure a botched execution called for an independent inquiry into Joseph Woods drawn-out death by lethal injection in Arizona, which lasted for two hours during which witnesses said he repeatedly gasped for breath.The prolonged execution was described as "torture" by Arizona senator John McCain on Thursday, who added that the procedure was "bollocks-upped" and "terrible". Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:09:17 GMT)

Immigration MPs call for more action to stop sham marriage 'industry'
Give registrars power to refuse to conduct suspected bogus weddings and ask embassies to issue warnings, says committeeRegistrars should be given the power to refuse to conduct marriages they believe are bogus, MPs have said, in a warning that more needed to be done to counter what had become an immigration scam "industry". The number of suspect couples being referred annually to the Home Office has more than doubled in three years to 2,135 and the true figure is almost certainly far higher due to under-reporting, the Commons home affairs committee said.But registrars receive too little information from immigration officials about what action is being taken, leaving them obliged to officiate at ceremonies they believed to be fraudulent, and should be give more discretion to act unilaterally, it concluded. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:51:00 GMT)

Royal Mail should take legal action over universal delivery mandate, union says
Communication Workers Union voices fears about competition from TNT at Royal Mail's first annual shareholder meetingTrade unionists have called for Royal Mail to take legal action if its mandate to deliver to even the most remote homes in the UK comes under threat. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:42:51 GMT)

Less than 10% of human DNA has functional role, claim scientists
Large stretches may be no more than biological baggage, say researchers after comparing genome with that of other mammalsMore than 90% of human DNA is doing nothing very useful, and large stretches may be no more than biological baggage that has built up over years of evolution, Oxford researchers claim.The scientists arrived at the figure after comparing the human genome with the genetic makeup of other mammals, ranging from dogs and mice to rhinos and horses. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:02:00 GMT)

Retiring clerk of Commons makes plea for Speaker to remain neutral
Sir Robert Rogers is retiring early as parliament's chief constitutional adviser amid claims of rows with John BercowThe retiring clerk of the House of Commons, Sir Robert Rogers, has made a plea for the Speaker to remain a neutral figure who acts as a servant of MPs as he defends his record as a moderniser of parliament in the face of suggestions that he has put Commons traditions before its relevance.Rogers, widely admired on both sides of the Commons and employed in parliament for more than 40 years, is retiring early amid persistent reports that his relations with John Bercow have become untenable. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:41:49 GMT)

Police to investigate Cyril Smith child abuse cover-up claims
Liberal Democrat politician, who died in 2010, is alleged to have sexually abused young boys at Knowl View School in RochdaleA criminal investigation is to be launched into an alleged cover-up of child abuse at a school linked to Sir Cyril Smith.The Liberal Democrat politician, who died in 2010, is alleged to have used his status to sexually abuse young boys with impunity at Knowl View School in Rochdale.Despite numerous previous allegations and past police investigations, Smith was never prosecuted. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:53:52 GMT)

Number of drug users in England and Wales rises to 2.7m
Increase of 230,000 comes after decade in which drug use appeared to be less fashionable, crime survey revealsThe number of adults using illicit drugs in England and Wales rose by an estimated 230,000 to 2.7 million over the past year, crime survey figures show.The increase was driven by more people saying they had used cocaine, ecstasy, LSD and ketamine. Nearly 1 million people or 3% of adults used class A drugs including powder cocaine, heroin and ecstasy in 2013/14. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:08:30 GMT)

Cruises top list of worst holidays
Cruises were the most complained about trips in 2013, with Turkey, Egypt, the Dominican Republic and Spain also making the worst holidays listCruises may be more popular than ever but they are also the most complained about of all trips, topping a list of worst holidays for the fourth year running.The Worst Holiday Hotspots list is based on the number of complaints received by law firm Irwin Mitchell by holidaymakers whose trips were ruined by illness or poor service in 2013. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:06:49 GMT)

Jayden Parkinson's ex-boyfriend guilty of murdering and burying teenager
Ex-boyfriend Ben Blakeley, 22, murdered 17-year-old after she told him she was pregnant, then buried her in his uncle's graveA young man has been found guilty of murdering his 17-year-old pregnant ex-girlfriend and burying her body in his uncle's grave.Ben Blakeley, 22, a former binman, strangled Jayden Parkinson the day after she told him she was expecting his child, and hid her body. He later crammed the girl's remains into a suitcase and hired a taxi to take him to a cemetery in Oxfordshire where he dug up the grave of his uncle Alan Kennedy and buried Jayden in it. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:28:09 GMT)

Sudanese woman spared death for apostasy meets Pope Francis
Meriam Ibrahim was sentenced to death for apostasy in May, sparking an international campaign to save her lifeHer religious commitment earned her ostracism and detention in her home country, and saw her handed a death sentence and forced to give birth in shackles in prison.On Thursday, however, Meriam Ibrahim's commitment as a Christian, and her remarkable fortitude in the face of persecution, was rewarded by an audience with the pope as she flew out of Sudan to begin a new life abroad. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:03:00 GMT)

Amazon posts huge loss in second quarter, despite sales rise
Revenue rises to 23% to $19.34bn but losses increase as it spends heavily on first smartphone, Fire PhoneAmazon has reported a rise in sales on Thursday but posted a bigger-than-expected $126m (£74m) loss for its second quarter, sending shares sharply lower in after-hours trading.Revenue at the company rose 23% to $19.34bn but losses increased as the firm spent heavily in a bid to expand its business with its first smartphone, the Fire Phone which goes on sale in the US today and to expand new services including grocery delivery and video streaming. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:36:17 GMT)

Ex-NoW journalist Dan Evans gets suspended sentence over hacking
Feature writer at now-defunct tabloid gets suspended sentence in recognition for cooperation with police and prosecutorsA former journalist at the News of the World who admitted listening to more than 1,000 hacked voicemail messages has been spared a "significant" jail sentence because of what the judge said was his unique role in giving the prosecution evidence in the trial of Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and others.Dan Evans, a features writer at the now-defunct tabloid under Coulson, told the phone-hacking trial that the practice of eavesdropping on others' voicemails was so endemic that even "the office cat" knew about it. He received a 10-month sentence, suspended for a year, and 200 hours of community service. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:12:00 GMT)

Google hauled in by Europe over right to be forgotten reaction
Search giant faces backlash over its handling of the European Court of Justice ruling forcing link removalsGoogle is being hauled in front of European data protection regulators on Thursday to explain its handling of the right to be forgotten ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).The ECJ ruling meant that EU citizens had the right to request that information online that is inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant, or excessive be removed from search listings and other non-media websites. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:18:30 GMT)

Three-year-old takes family car for a ride and ends up in pub garden
Sussex police say boy drove automatic vehicle down two embankments before coming to a stop, suffering only a bump to his headA three-year-old boy took his family's car and drove down two embankments before coming to a stop in a pub garden, ending the escapade with just a bump to his head.The boy started up the engine to the automatic Subaru Impreza and drove off down the family's long driveway in Henley, near Midhurst, West Sussex. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:16:27 GMT)

Russian opposition leader jailed in Bolotnaya Square protest case
Sergei Udaltsov is convicted of organising rioting at anti-Putin protest in trial human rights groups call 'mockery of justice'A Russian opposition leader has been found guilty of organising mass rioting at a protest on the eve of Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012, in a trial that human rights experts describe as politically motivated.Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the socialist Left Front and a major voice in the wave of street protests that shook Russia in 2011-13, was convicted of planning the unrest at the protest, along with Leonid Razvozzhayev, an activist and aide to opposition MP Ilya Ponomaryov, the only deputy to vote against Russia's annexation of Crimea. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:54:58 GMT)

Lloyds Banking Group faces fine of up to £300m over Libor rigging
Bailed-out bank is latest firm penalised by regulator the Financial Conduct Authority over rigging benchmark interest rateBailed-out Lloyds Banking Group appears poised to become the latest financial firm to be penalised for rigging Libor and is said to be facing a fine of between £200m and £300m.The bank, 24% owned by the taxpayer, is expected to pay the fine to the City regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, as well as regulators in the US, which are involved the extensive investigation into the potential rigging of the benchmark interest rate. The penalty for Lloyds comes more than two years after Libor manipulations at Barclays were exposed and regulators on both sides of the Atlantic imposed a £290m fine. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:17:32 GMT)

Son finds both parents dead in garden following heart attacks
Aqeel Siddique had been trying to get his 77-year-old wife, Nayyar, out of their swimming pool when he had a heart attackA son found the bodies of his parents in their garden after his father tried to rescue his mother from their swimming pool following a fatal heart attack.Retired surgeon Aqeel Siddique, 79, had been trying to get his 77-year-old wife, Nayyar, out of the pool when he also suffered a heart attack. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:18:46 GMT)

Sudanese newspaper editor attacked by armed men
Media offices raided, journalists beaten and equipment confiscated after call to normalise relations with IsraelArmed men raided the offices of a private Sudanese daily newspaper Al-Tayar on Saturday, confiscating laptops and mobile phones and destroying equipment, according to local reports.The assailants also used their guns to beat the paper's editor-in-chief, Osman Mirghani, and another journalist, Abdullah Ishak. Mirghani sought treatment at a local hospital for his injuries. Ishak did not suffer serious injuries, the reports said. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:20:09 GMT)

Matteo Renzi's plan to abolish Italian Senate runs into 7,850 problems
Senators have tabled thousands of amendments to PM's proposals, and debated only three of them on day oneAsking senators to vote for their own abolition was always going to be a tough mission even for the ever-confident Matteo Renzi. So it is hardly surprising that the Italian prime minister's flagship reform bill on which he has staked his career has run into a few problems in the upper house of parliament 7,850 of them, to be precise.Opponents to the proposals which would see the senate stripped of many of its powers and become a much smaller, unelected regional chamber have tabled nearly 8,000 amendments which they want debated before the upper house moves to a first reading vote. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:43:12 GMT)

Iraqi Christians in Mosul told by Isis to convert to Islam or be executed
Thousands of Christians flee largest city in northern Iraq after Isis gives stark choice: convert, pay a religious tax, or face deathIraqi Christians who were forced to flee the northern city of Mosul under threat of forced conversion or execution by jihadists have spoken of their terror as churches were turned into mosques and their homes and property confiscated.The expulsion of one of the world's oldest Christian communities provoked condemnation and anguish from figures as diverse as the pope and Iraq's prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who lambasted the Islamic State (Isis) for its "criminality and terrorism". Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:54:00 GMT)

Poland broke human rights convention on al-Qaida suspects held by the CIA
ECHR finds for Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who argued they were tortured by US agents in a Polish forest prisonPoland became the first EU country held to account for its involvement in the CIA's extraordinary rendition programme on Thursday when the European court of human rights found it guilty of the unlawful detention and torture of two men at a secret prison in the north of the country after 9/11.In two damning judgments, the court also ruled that the Polish government had failed to conduct a proper investigation into the episode, and ordered it to pay 100,000 (£79,000) compensation to each of the men, who are currently held at Guantánamo Bay. The rulings are the first in a series of cases being brought against European states, with Lithuania and Romania also facing accusations that they allowed the CIA to open secret prisons on their territory. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:56:00 GMT)

Communities could be paid £40m for considering nuclear waste dump
Renewed effort to find site for underground disposal site will not allow veto for any one level of local governmentLocal communities could be paid over £40m by government for simply considering the building of an underground nuclear waste disposal facility in their area, ministers announced on Thursday. The renewed effort to find a permanent solution for the UKs growing stockpile of nuclear waste comes after Cumbria council vetoed a proposed waste dump site in January 2013. But the new approach will not allow any one level of local government to veto future site decisions. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:56:52 GMT)

Prisoners fight ban on voting in Scottish independence referendum
Two men serving life for murder claim exclusion from September's poll violates their human rightsTwo prisoners are to ask the supreme court to overturn a ban on inmates voting in Scotland's independence referendum.Leslie Moohan, 31, and Andrew Gillon, 46, are serving life sentences for murder and claim the ban on taking part in September's poll infringes their human rights under European law. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:38:46 GMT)

Hack attack on European Central Bank jeopardises personal information
The bank was the victim of a hacking attack which compromised some unencrypted data, including email and street addressesThe European Central Bank (ECB) has been hacked, with attackers stealing email addresses and contact data from the organisation's public website.In a statement, the bank said that no internal systems or market sensitive data were compromised. "The database serves parts of the ECB website that gather registrations for events such as ECB conferences and visits. It is physically separate from any internal ECB systems." Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:30:20 GMT)

Commonwealth Games 2014: Bradley Wiggins has to settle for silver
Cyclist justifies medal as start of something special Journey now starts towards Rio de Janeiro Olympics goldSir Bradley Wigginss Commonwealth career ends as it started, with a silver medal in the team pursuit. He last won one of those 16 years ago, in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.Back then he was an 18-year-old riding in the seniors for the first time. In 2014, at the age of 34, he finds himself wondering what worlds he has left to conquer. He has never won a Commonwealth gold, and while he admitted it was disappointing that he hadnt added one to his collection, he was adamant that competing here was just the first step towards the last target he has set himself in his sport winning a fourth and final Olympic title, in the team pursuit at Rio in 2016. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:00:55 GMT)

Commonwealth Games Federation investigating Gaza protest by cyclist
Azizulhasni Awang had Save Gaza on gloves We have asked Malaysian chef de mission for a reportThe Commonwealth Games Federation is looking into an apparent political protest by a Malaysian cyclist who competed in gloves bearing the words Save Gaza at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome on Thursday. Azizulhasni Awang held up his gloves to the camera to show Save written across the right one and Gaza on the left.The CGF, like its Olympic counterpart, seeks to avoid its competitions being used for political means. A spokesman at Glasgow 2014 said: We have asked the Malaysian chef de mission for a report so we can obtain the facts. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:47:33 GMT)

Ryan Giggs says infectious Louis van Gaal has same aura as Alex Ferguson
The new manager Louis van Gaal has quickly made his mark at Manchester United in a manner similar to Sir Alex Ferguson, according to his assistant Ryan GiggsRyan Giggs believes Louis van Gaal has the same aura as Sir Alex Ferguson, the most successful manager in English football.Van Gaal, who flew with the squad to Denver following Wednesday evenings 7-0 hammering of LA Galaxy for the second leg of the summer tour, has been working with Manchester United only since last Wednesday, having taken Holland to third place in the World Cup. Yet he has already made an impact, with Giggs, who played 23 seasons under Ferguson, believing there are similarities between the Scot and the Dutchman. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:30:08 GMT)

Liverpool owner John W Henry: time was right to sell Luis Suárez
Uruguayan has left Anfield to join Barcelona for £75m Henry: It was time for the club to make a breakLiverpools owner, John W Henry, believes the time was right to sell Luis Suárez and does not think the Uruguayans departure will have a detrimental effect on their chances of winning silverware next season. The Uruguayan striker joined Barcelona for £75m this month despite biting Italys Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup and receiving a four-month ban from Fifa. Henry, who saw Liverpool lose 1-0 to Roma at Fenway Park stadium in Boston in a pre-season friendly, is confident they made the correct decision to allow him to leave.It was time for Luis and time for the club to make a break, he said. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:31:16 GMT)

Commonwealth Games 2014: Renicks sisters kickstart Scottish gold hunt
Louise and Kimberley Renicks win big medals in judo Hannah Miley picks up gold number two in swimmingIn 63 extraordinary minutes the Glasgow Games burst into brilliant life as two Scottish sisters, Louise and Kimberley Renicks, both won individual gold medals in the judo and Hannah Miley triumphed in the pool. At the end of the first day, the Renicks household, in Coatbridge, out to the east of the city, had mustered more medals than the vast majority of the countries in the Commonwealth. The Renick family ranked third overall, ahead of India, Canada, and New Zealand.Kimberley Renicks gold, in the -48kg category, was Scotlands first of the Games. Her older sister, Louise, won the third, in the -52kg category. In between the two, swimmer Miley won the 400m individual medley in Tollcross. And to cap the evening Scottish swimmers finished first and second in the mens 200m breaststroke. The twist was that 20-year-old Ross Murdoch won gold, ahead of Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:19:10 GMT)

Vincenzo Nibali tightens grip on Tour de France with stage 18 win
Astana rider finishes over a minute clear of Thibaut Pinot Nibali now over 7min clear of field in general classificationSince his exploits on the cobbled stage to Arenberg 15 days ago, Vincenzo Nibali has increasingly seemed to be involved in his own race at the top of the standings. Here that was literally the case, with the Italian finishing alone for his fourth stage win of the race, confirming what looks set to be an emphatic Tour victory as the rest of the field scrapped for what was left.The Italian pushed his overall advantage over seven minutes, with Saturdays time trial yet to come. It is hard to put into perspective given cyclings drug-riddled history in recent years, but since the Lance Armstrong Tours no one has managed a winning margin of more than four-and-a-bit minutes. Armstrong broke the seven-minute barrier twice, but is obviously no longer in the record books, while Miguel Indurain only topped five minutes in one Tour. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:37:08 GMT)

Win a shirt signed by the 2014 Brazil World Cup team
Enter our competition for a chance to win a shirt signed by each member of the Brazil squad playing at the 2014 World Cup Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:47:00 GMT)

Alistair Brownlee beats brother Jonny to Commonwealth triathlon gold
Yorkshire siblings dominate field at Strathclyde Country Park South Africas Richard Murray finishes thirdAlistair Brownlees grin was wider than the Strathclyde Park loch he had emerged from minutes earlier. The race was won long before he jogged down the home stretch ahead of his brother, Jonny, and soon he was draped in the flags of both England and Yorkshire, a fitting way to end an emphatic effort that reaffirms his status as one of the finest British athletes of the modern era.I might as well retire was the early retort from Brownlee as he paused for a well-earned breather after high-fiving the waiting spectators who greeted his performance of 1hr 48min 50sec with the applause it deserved. This victory, secured in the sweltering Scottish heat, means Brownlee has titles at the Commonwealth Games, the Olympics, the Europeans and the world championships a full house of successes that surpasses all expectations he ever had when starting out in the sport. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:21:56 GMT)

Commonwealth Games: Englands Jodie Stimpson takes triathlon gold
Stimpson wins gold ahead of Canadas Kirsten Sweetland England team-mate Vicky Holland claims the bronzeJodie Stimpson described missing out on the London Olympics as the kick up the backside I needed after winning the first gold of the Commonwealth Games. In a dream start to Team Englands campaign, the 25-year-old sprinted to victory in the triathlon at Strathclyde Country Park while her team-mate Vicky Holland took a surprise bronze behind Canadas Kirsten Sweetland.Stimpson went into the race as the top-ranked athlete and justified that position with a commanding performance, pulling away from Sweetland over the closing 500 metres. It was all a far cry from 2012, when Stimpson was distraught at being left out of the Olympic team for London, and was one of a number of critics of British Triathlons selection policy. Holland and Lucy Hall, who finished 11th in Glasgow, were picked to support the then world champion Helen Jenkins. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:20:51 GMT)

Floyd Mayweather granted promoters licence by Nevada Athletic Commission
Unbeaten welterweight now free to put on fights on his own Mayweather has used Top Rank and Golden Boy PromotionsFloyd Mayweather Jr can now organise and market fights in Nevada all on his own.The Nevada Athletic Commission voted on Wednesday to grant the undefeated welterweight champion a promoters licence. The 37-year-old Mayweather has previously worked with fight promoters Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions in his televised matchups in Las Vegas. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:42:04 GMT)

Lawn bowls generation game gets Glasgow 2014 under way with a flourish
Curry chefs, calisthenics, father-and-son teams and the Jackaroos lawn bowls raised the curtain on the 2014 Commonwealth Games in styleClick here for more pictures from the Lawn BowlsTen. Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre, 8.44am. Nine. A pretty venue, backdropped by the red sandstone of the big, baroque art gallery. Eight. It seats 2,500, and right now its a little less than half full. Seven. Theres a blanket of thick grey cloud overhead. Six. Here come the officials, followed by the athletes. Five. Some seem to be taking their warm-ups more seriously than others the Indians had been jogging around the practice greens. Four. Whoever is in charge of the music has a sense of humour. Three. Englands men walk out to a soundtrack by the Average White Band. Two. This is it then, after 10 years of planning, seven years of preparation. One. The 2014 Commonwealth Games are under way. Immediately, silence falls. And, for a moment, everything is quiet. And then someone shouts: COME ON AUSSIE!There are 11 Australian bowls fans here. Nine of them are wearing canary yellow baseball caps. Another is in a green tracksuit which says Official Jackaroos Supporters Club on the back. The last has a hat made out of empty VB beer cans. And she must be nearing 70. Their womens team are, almost inevitably, young, blonde, tanned and handsome. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:37:56 GMT)

Frank Lampard checks in at New York but refuses to draw line under England
Former Chelsea man yet to retire from international game Lampard vows to pay respects to US dead at 9/11 memorialFor Frank Lampard, the easiest decision has already been made. Now comes the hard part. With José Mourinho showing no desire to keep the clubs all-time leading scorer, the 36-year-old wanted another challenge. So when the chance arose to sign for New York City, the US branch of Sheikh Mansours plans to establish Manchester City as a true global brand, there was little hesitation.Whether to follow Steven Gerrards lead and retire from international football, though, is a far harder question to be answered. The dismal showing at the World Cup would have left most seasoned internationals, especially one with 103 caps, content to leave that world behind him once and for all. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:41:00 GMT)

Commonwealth Games: Norfolk Island humble South Africa at lawn bowls
Womens four from tiny island win 17-13 at Kelvingrove We work well together and are really close, like a familySouth Africa were humbled on the Glasgow bowling green by the players of tiny Norfolk Island as the country of just over 2,000 inhabitants scored a stunning victory.Taking on a team that has the pick of a 51m population, the Norfolk Island womens four won 17-13 at the Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:47:14 GMT)

West Hams Andy Carroll to miss early season with ankle surgery
Striker devastated by need for pre-season operation Decision means he could be out for four monthsWest Hams pre-season preparations have been thrown into turmoil after their striker Andy Carroll announced he is to undergo surgery on an ankle injury.The club-record signing he joined for £15m from Liverpool in 2013 missed most of last season due to a troublesome foot problem and was ruled out of two friendlies on the current tour of New Zealand as a precaution. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:21:42 GMT)

Everton close to signing Bosnia-Herzegovinas Muhamed Besic
Midfielder joins Roberto Martínezs squad in Thailand Besic set to complete move from FerencvarosEverton appear to be on the brink of announcing their second summer signing as the Ferencvaros midfielder Muhamed Besic has joined them on a pre-season trip to Thailand.Besic, 21, represented Bosnia-Herzegovina in the World Cup and has been a target for the Everton manager, Roberto Martínez, as he looks to add to a squad which he guided to fifth place in the Premier League last season. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:54:26 GMT)

BHA announces that seventh horse has tested positive for morphine
Identity of trainer in the latest case is unknown Authority cannot rule out more bad news for industryRacings morphine nightmare continued on Thursday night with news that a seventh horse has tested positive for the drug, believed to have originated in contaminated feed. The British Horseracing Authority announced that two further positives had been discovered in addition to the original five which it confirmed last week but the regulator maintains its stance of refusing to name any of those involved.Six of the positives have been accounted for by trainers coming forward to discuss horses in their stables that have tested positive. The trainers involved so far are Charles Hills, Gay Kelleway, Eve Johnson Houghton, Tony Carroll and Sir Michael Stoute, who has had two horses test positive, including the Queens Estimate. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:14:08 GMT)

Lewis Hamilton hoping to agree a new three-year deal with Mercedes
2008 world champion has won five races so far this season Contract could be worth up to £70m over its durationLewis Hamilton is expecting a fresh contract from Mercedes this year even though his current deal has 18 months left to run. He said on Thursday: Im sure something will happen this year. Ive made it clear to them that Im not out to see what else there is for me. Mercedes has been my family since I started F1 and I dont see that changing any time soon.The Mercedes motor sport director, Toto Wolff, has already confirmed he is having talks with Hamiltons representatives. He told the Austrian newspaper Kronen Zeitung: We are already sitting together and negotiating with Lewis about a multi-year contract. Lewis is a fixed part of the team, and I would hope for a long time to come. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:59:50 GMT)

Commonwealth Games lament losing another name with Mo Farah no-show
Double Olympic champion opts to stay at Font Romeu We are really disappointed for Mo, says Games spokesman Mo Farah pulls out of Glasgow 2014 because of illnessGlasgow 2014 organisers have lamented a major blow to the Commonwealth Games with the withdrawal of Mo Farah through illness, claiming they are disappointed but can understand the double Olympic champions decision.Farah is the latest big name to have pulled out, announcing on Thursday morning that he would remain at his France training base instead of making the journey to Scotland to compete in the 5,000m and 10,000m, both disciplines in which he won gold at London 2012. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:07:40 GMT)

Corking catches, the Miracle Mile and a diving Jason Statham
This weeks round-up also features Fignon v LeMond, an eight-year-old Rory McIlroy and Chewbacca on baseball1) The Commonwealth Games begins in earnest in Glasgow today. A few highlights from over the years Allan Wells deadheating (if thats a word) with Mike McFarlane in the 200m in Brisbane in 1982; Roger Bannister v John Landy in the Miracle Mile at Vancouver 1954; Filbert Bayi v John Walker in a world record 1,500m at Christchurch 1974; and, perhaps best of all, Jason Statham competing in the diving for England at the 1990 Games in Auckland. Yes, that Jason Statham. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:39:25 GMT)

Frank Lampard signs for New York City after saying club ticked all the boxes
Former Chelsea midfielder agrees two-year deal Wishes successor Cesc Fábregas nothing but bestFrank Lampard has officially signed for New York City FC on a two-year contract, the Major League Soccer franchise have announced.The 36-year-old left Chelsea at the end of last season after 13 seasons and a club record 211 goals. He signed a one-year contract extension with the Blues in May 2013 after mulling over a move to Los Angeles Galaxy, who he will now play in opposition from next spring. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:19:53 GMT)

How to watch TV like a world leader
Does the Queen watch Game of Thrones? No. But Cameron bases policy on crime dramas and Biden likes Honey Boo BooAll hail the golden age of television, in which complex series like The Sopranos and The Wire have been crowned (by some) as the new novels, and the proliferation of DVRs and instant streaming services means we can watch whatever we want, whenever we want. TV is enjoying an unprecedented intellectual moment even our presidents, prime ministers and monarchs cant help but admit they tune in. Naming your favorite TV shows is a deeply personal revelation, an act that can be both politically and culturally charged even if youre not naming them on a global stage. So heres how more than a dozen world leaders have answered that question. Which would you rather share a sofa and a bag of popcorn with? Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:17:48 GMT)

How common are plane crashes?
With three major plane crashes in a week, it seems air disasters are happening very frequently at present but, statistically, how common are such crashes?There have been three aviation disasters in the last week: the shooting down last Thursday of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew, the crashing of TransAsia Airways flight GE222 while trying to land at a Taiwanese airport on Wednesday, killing 48 and injuring 10, and the crashing today of Air Algérie flight AH5017 from Burkino Faso to Algiers, which was carrying 110 passengers and six crew members.It seems as though such crashes are happening very frequently at present but, statistically, how common are plane crashes? Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:20:01 GMT)

Should thieves in World of Warcraft be sent to real prisons?
Tory MP Mike Weatherley wants those who swipe valuable items in video games to get the same sentences as burglarsAll right, own up: did you steal Mike Weatherley's sword on World of Warcraft? If so, you'd better watch out. He's really upset about it. So much so that, as David Cameron's chief adviser on intellectual property, he has asked ministers to consider passing a law that would mean people "who steal online items in video games with a real-world monetary value receive the same sentences as criminals who steal real-world items of the same monetary value".Weatherley, the MP for Hove, East Sussex and a Warcraft player himself, says that since players can spend serious amounts of real-world cash on items, even though they exist only online, they should be offered the same protection as victims of theft in the world of solid objects. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:13:31 GMT)

Knifeworld: The Unravelling review complex, mischievous psychedelic rock
(Inside Out)Dullard indie rock bands may have repeatedly tried to reduce the psychedelic ethos to little more than recycled Beatles riffs and a dash of sitar, but Knifeworld have the keys to the real kingdom of lysergic wonderment. Led by former Cardiac and left-field polymath Kavus Torabi, these intuitive oddballs have conjured their own vivid sonic realm on their second album, incorporating everything from elegant pop melodies to squawking, angular metal riffs, all of it rendered in twinkling psychedelic shades and bearing an underlying sense of nightmarish unease. The Unravelling crams a vast number of ideas into its 46 minutes, but for all its complexity, melody and mischief take precedence. From the 90-second chemical rush of The Orphanage and the epic prog squall of Don't Land on Me to sinister daydreams like The Skulls We Buried Have Regrown Their Eyes and This Empty Room Once Was Alive, this is an ingenious, joyful exercise in exploratory zeal. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:15:00 GMT)

Hercules review The Rock glistens in cheerfully ridiculous romp
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson dons his sandals and takes up a sword in Brett Ratner's entertaining classical action hero storyHe is Hercules: hear him roar. Pec oil supplies plummet as the great muscular hero of classical antiquity arrives on the big screen, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, in glistening semi-nudity. Brett Ratner's cheerfully ridiculous and entertaining film begins by saying that he is "the son of Zeus the Zeus!" That's in case there's any confusion and someone blunders up to our hero mid-battle, and says how much they enjoyed his dad's masterpiece The Cat in the Hat.Yet the film restricts his fabled 12 labours to the opening sequence, and does not dwell on the yucky business of cleansing the Augean stables. It is with tongue in cheek that it focuses on his post-labours career and suggests that the stories of those origins may not be true but are vital for helping him to believe in himself, and fight the good fight. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:00:00 GMT)

The Lady from Shanghai review outrageous and dreamlike
A whirling thing of wonder, Welles's brilliant, brash noir moves from city to sea, courtroom to hall of mirrors, crackling with chemistry between him and HayworthThere's such outrageous brilliance in Orson Welles's brash and sexy noir melodrama from 1947, now on re-release. There are some opaque plot tangles, perhaps due to 60 minutes being cut from Welles's original version by the studio, but the sheer brio and style make it a thing of wonder, whisking the audience from the streets of New York City, to the open seas, to a tense courtroom and then to a bizarre house of mirrors.This is arguably Welles's best acting performance: theatrically romantic, with warmth, wit and a gust of pure charisma. He plays O'Hara, an Irish merchant seaman induced to sign on as part of the crew of a luxury yacht belonging to wealthy lawyer Bannister (Everett Sloane), having fallen in love with his young wife Elsa (Rita Hayworth) a beautiful woman with a shady past in the far east whom Bannister evidently blackmailed into marrying him. Soon O'Hara is mixed up in a murderous plot cooked up by Bannister's partner Grisby (Glenn Anders). Welles creates a dreamlike (though never surrealist) fluency and strangeness, along with a salty tang of black comedy and an electric current of doom and desire between O'Hara and Elsa. It has an irresistible energy. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:10:00 GMT)

Les Ambassadeurs du Motel de Bamako review one of Africa's great bands
(Sterns)Released to coincide with their historic reunion shows, this is an exquisite double-album reminder of the early days of one of Africa's greatest bands. Les Ambassadeurs were assembled in the early 1970s by a senior member of the Mali's military junta to entertain VIPs at a Bamako motel, and included great musicians from across west Africa, including the late Kanté Manfila on guitar, keyboard player Idrissa Soumaoro and guitarist Amadou Bagayoko (now a star with Amadou and Mariam). They even persuaded the young Salif Keita to leave their rivals, the Rail Band, to join them, and it's Salif who dominates here. Backed by a band that also includes brass and balafon, he is on soaring form on songs that range from Manfila's cheerfully upbeat Mana Mani to his own lengthy, stately and powerful praise song, Djandio. Glorious. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:45:00 GMT)

The cult shows that would have survived in the streaming age
Cancellation used to be the end for any show. Now online servives offer them a new lease of life. Here are six series axed in their prime that we think would have been saved from the chopInternet streaming services have opened up a new world for TV viewers. Shows once buried in late-night slots can and have been discovered by a whole new audience through catch-up or subscription services. However, this hasn't always been the case, particularly in the US, where ratings are king; many a promising show has been cut short, sacrificed at the altar of audience numbers and erratic channel scheduling (see the recent axing of Community, which has since been rescued by Yahoo). But what if Netflix, Amazon Prime and the rest were around when these shows were pulled? Here are six we think may have had a longer life. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:13:00 GMT)

Fifty Shades of Grey trailer review: through a glass, daftly
The first full trailer for the S&M romance is out, and rather than filth, it offers a lot of shots of Jamie Dornan gazing out of an office. Is this just confessions of a window clinger?The first Fifty Shades of Grey trailer is here. Well, the first official Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, at least ever since the film was announced, YouTube has slowly become riddled with hundreds of fan-made Fifty Shades of Grey trailers, all of them exclusively consisting of clips from Secretary set to My Heart Will Go On. But this one's official.For Fifty Shades of Grey fans, this trailer is a big deal. It answers questions like "Will it be as dirty as the book?" "Will Jamie Dornan be a better Christian Grey than Charlie Humman?" and "How many times will Dakota Johnson say 'Holy crap' out loud before she becomes genuinely unbearable?" But for newcomers, it offers a chance to tell the story of Fifty Shades of Grey. Here is that story. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:18:31 GMT)

Is it a phone? Is it a drone? No, it's a flone!
A team of inventors have produced Flone a simple H-frame for smartphones, bringing drone technology to the massesThe artist Lot Amorós, and engineers Cristina Navarro and Alexandre Oliver won the Next Things award in 2013 for the Flone invention, an H-shaped airframe which transforms smartphones into airborne apparatus. It is able to fly up to 20 metres, and take photographs and video from above. Flone has been designed to be cheap and simple to make. The airframe is wooden, and is powered by a standalone battery and four propellers. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:00:07 GMT)

Belle and Sebastian review twee in the park, but in a good way
Kelvingrove Bandstand, GlasgowA trawl through back-catalogue riches gave this Commonwealth Games party a more than sporting chanceDuring the Commonwealth Games 2014 opening ceremony, raspy tomcat Rod Stewart trolled a global audience of millions by insisting on playing Can't Stop Me Now, a functional but unloved song from his current album. On the other side of Glasgow, Belle and Sebastian take the opposite approach to headlining their own Games opening party, staged in a newly pristine 2,000-capacity venue, for whose restoration they campaigned."We thought we'd trawl through the back catalogue," says singer Stuart Murdoch. "We've got a lot of old songs that were written within a half-mile radius of here." It's not as if the host city's most cherished indie veterans don't have anything to promote their as-yet untitled ninth studio album is set for release later this year, while Murdoch's crowdfunded movie fantasia God Help the Girl, his debut as writer and director, comes out next month. But if you subscribe to the theory that B&S were at their most bookishly magnificent in the early running, when they materialised out of nowhere in the late 90s with three staggeringly fully formed albums, the focus on vintage material is even more of a treat than the uncommonly sunny weather. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:26:44 GMT)

Traversing the twelve summits of London
Can London provide its very own Bob Graham Round? Is it possible to replicate the mountain runs of the Highlands, the Lake District and Snowdonia? Jonny Muir suspects not, but gives it a crack anywayI looked down on London from The Shard recently. London from some 300 metres up is serene. It is also appallingly flat. Even the Crystal Palace ridge, away to the south and positively Ben Nevisian (to the Londoner) is smothered by perspective. It made my plan - a London equivalent of the great mountain rounds of the Highlands, the Lake District and Snowdonia - descend further into the realms of nonsense. I was to run between the summits of the 12 Inner London boroughs, starting in Hammersmith and Fulham, travelling east to the Isle of Dogs, passing beneath the Thames to Greenwich, then turning west to gain Wimbledon Common. Together, these dozen summits add up to 957m a slouching Scafell Pike. At no point would I venture higher than 134 metres above sea level. Utterly pointless. But then, is not that the point?Down here in London, we are stuck with the capital's vertically-challenged undulations - our highest points have been built over, buried under concrete or adorned with telecommunications paraphernalia. The highest point within the M25 circle is 269-metre Botley Hill. They stuck a telecommunications mast there, naturally. I could hanker for the airy heights of the Lake District. Or I could make the most of what London has got. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:00:00 GMT)

Deep-fried pizza just like they make it in Naples
The traditional Neapolitan way to make pizza was to fry it, says Bob Granleese. Now UK pizza obsessives are coming up with their own versions. Felicity Cloake tries deep-fried versus dry-fried"Bloody good, isn't it?" says Giuseppe Mascoli through a mouthful of hot pizza, a trickle of tomato sauce escaping down his chin. We're at Da Michele in Naples, a local institution that's been making some of the best pizza on the planet for 140 years. There are just two on the menu margherita or marinara and they're a revelation: a soft yet satisfyingly chewy base, all puffed up and charred at the edges, the merest smear of tomato sauce, the odd dot of mozzarella and a few torn basil leaves. No wonder there's a queue out of the door and Neapolitans rarely, if ever, queue for anything.This is what Mascoli's been trying to emulate at his acclaimed London pizzeria, Franco Manca. "They're completely unwilling to compromise the product," he raves. "I get cross when I read recipes that say you can make authentic pizza like this at home you just can't." Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:00:00 GMT)

Home sweet home: how to make a lifesize Hansel and Gretel house
What child can resist a tempting gingerbread house covered in candy at a birthday party? But what if you made it big enough for them to actually get inside?"I've got this crazy idea for my son's birthday party," said my friend. "My husband has completely pooh-poohed it, but I want to see if you think it's doable." Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:47:34 GMT)

Commonwealth Games: has the BBC reached peak Gary Lineker?
Presenter faces barrage of abuse on Twitter for fronting opening ceremony less than a fortnight after his World Cup stintThe Commonwealth Games opening ceremony divided opinion, with some praising John Barrowmans kiss and the dancing Tunnocks teacakes, and others criticising the cringeworthy lyrics of the opening song. However, Twitter users seemed united in complaining about the BBCs choice of Gary Lineker, fresh from a month of fronting its World Cup coverage, as lead presenter of the Games. Scottish viewers in particular appeared to take umbrage at the fact that Lineker was fronting the opening night of the BBCs 11 days of coverage (alongside St Andrews-born Hazel Irvine). Get that prick Lineker off my Country's Commonwealth Games. Are there no Scottish presenters ?Why is Gary Lineker even going this programme?? #bbcglasgow2014 #Glasgow2014 #CommonwealthGamesSurely one of the only sounds more annoying than bagpipes is Ken Bruce, or Gary Lineker's agent saying "he'll do it" #CommonwealthGamesScotland is the host nation for the Commonwealth games this year. But you wouldnt know on the BBC. Union Flags, Gary Lineker -bizarreGary Lineker is presenting the Commonwealth Games. He's no Scottish. I am outraged and furious at BBC bias. This was Westminster. Vote Yes.This has nothing to do with #indy, right. But Hazel Irvine is a far better presenter than Gary Lineker. #CommonwealthGamesGary Lineker again? Does the #BBC have no other sport presenters? No women? I'm World Cupped out with Gary. #CommonwealthGamesI assume Gary Bloody Lineker has mislaid his research notes, apart from one page headed The Commonwealth Games: The Friendly Games - or not?Wish Gary Lineker took more holidays, bored us silly in the World Cup now little over a week later he pops up for the Commonwealth GamesDid Gary Lineker just say "Guernsey and Jeurnsey"? #CommonwealthGamesDid Gary Lineker just say "Guernsey and Jeurnsey"? #CommonwealthGamesGary Lineker unveils new Commonwealth island of 'Jernsey'. #CommonwealthGames Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:21:36 GMT)

Nokia Lumia 930 review: the best Windows Phone yet
Microsoft's latest smartphone is catching up to the iPhone and Android with a great camera, design and wireless chargingMicrosofts latest Lumia 930 top-end smartphone is still a Nokia for now, and shows promise as a viable competitor in the flagship smartphone battle with Apple, Samsung, HTC and Sony.Pros: Great camera, wireless charging, 32GB of storage, Nokia apps, solid buildCons: Lack of games, lack of non-mainstream apps, reflective screen makes outdoor viewing more difficult Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:07:35 GMT)

Darth Vader has better approval rating than 2016 US presidential candidates
Nate Silver's statistics site FiveThirtyEight polled people about the favourability of different Star Wars characters, and only Jar Jar Binks was less popular than ObamaHe may have overseen the destruction of the peaceful planet of Alderaan, but Darth Vader is still more popular than Hillary Clinton and indeed all of the prospective candidates for the 2016 American presidential election.FiveThirtyEight, the site run by esteemed statistician Nate Silver, polled nearly 1200 people as to the favourability of various Star Wars characters. The likes of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia triggered popularity that politicians can only dream of, with up to 93% of respondents approving of them, but Darth Vader managed an impressive 58% approval rating  thus proving that with enough statesmanlike authority and public-speaking skills, anyone can sway an electorate. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:43:00 GMT)

Venice film festival line-up: Ferrara, Akin and Andersson's wild menagerie
New films from maverick directors will dominate the competition line-up at the Venice film festival, with appearances from Al Pacino, Andrew Garfield and Ethan Hawke More on the Venice film festival 2014Maverick directors Abel Ferrara, Roy Andersson and Fatih Akin lead the charge at this year's Venice film festival, as a volatile lineup spotlights tales of crime and punishment, war, recession, and the existential crisis of a pigeon. Venice may lack the glamour of Cannes, or the gloss of the Toronto event that follows hard on its heels. But its wild menagerie should be enough to ensure a colourful, controversial edition of the world's oldest film festival.Fresh from shocking the Cannes critics with Welcome to New York, Ferrara comes to the Lido with Pasolini, starring Willem Dafoe as the doomed Italian film-maker Pier Paolo Pasolini. Akin's The Cut casts Tahar Rahim as a mute father in search of his daughters, while Andersson's A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting the Nature of Existence promises a fresh flight of fancy from the iconoclastic Swedish director. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:27:00 GMT)

Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies review a scientific romp through the atmosphere
There was data, dirigibles and derring-do galore, and the producers wanted desperately for you to know exactly how exciting it all wasAirships occupy a very special place in our collective psyche: they are exotic, and mercurial to the point of being more than a little dangerous. They reek of adventure. So bravo to the makers of Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies (BBC2) who put meteorologist Felicity Aston and her team into a great big airship and sent them into the sky. Ostensibly, they were on an "expedition, a voyage deep into one of the most mysterious and precious environments on Earth THE ATMOSPHERE", but we all know why they were up there: to feel like Indiana Jones. And who could blame them? Imagine being handed the resources for this kind of thing. You'd do it in a heartbeat.So Aston and her colleague, Dr Jim McQuaid, atmospheric chemist (as catchy a name-and-title as "Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman") were collecting insects in the boundary layer, ie the one closest to Earth, and also the most dynamic. They wanted to determine whether the insects were blown up there accidentally or if they were more canny operators, exploiting atmospheric conditions. Joining in was Dr Sarah Beynon, a biologist looking to find a noctuid moth, a creature that can migrate up to 600 miles in one night. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:00:02 GMT)

How to survive a heatwave, North Korea style
From dog meat soup to boiled rabbit, Pyongyang recommends eating a 'revitalising' diet to survive the hottest days of the year. Daily NK reports When the summer heat strikes the Korean peninsula, it's not ice or water that North Korea's authorities recommend to get through the sweltering conditions it's dog meat, among other "revitalising" foods.On the Korean peninsula, the three hottest days of the year are known as sambok, which usually takes place in mid-July (the dates depend on the lunar calendar), and are a time of feasting for Koreans to energise tired bodies and improve appetites.Even spilling the broth of dog meat soup on your foot during sambok is good for your health Being sure to eat revitalising foods during sambok season is one thing all Koreans have in common Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:51:03 GMT)

The playlist Americana: Bon Iver, DD Dumbo and Sturgill Simpson
New influences from African desert music to Delta blues provide forward momentum in the genre, topped by the majestic storytelling of Sturgill SimpsonEarlier this year Kentucky-born, Nashville-dwelling Sturgill Simpson released his second album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Its a wonderful record soulful, witty, sultry, and shot through with the outlaw country feel of Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard without ever falling into pastiche. The Promise is one of its gems. Originally recorded in 1988, a new wave hit for When in Rome, here Simpson magics it into something lost and lonely and long-distance. He starts off singing into his collar, tender and tempered, gently gathering force until that devastating quake to his voice is suddenly strewn into some wild near-howl. You can make as much as you please out of Simpsons history: the Appalachian coal-mining family, the stint in the navy, the ship-yard work, the boozing, the drugs, the policeman father, the metaphysics and cosmology, but after all the romance of it boils down youre left with the songwriting and the voice of a master storyteller. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 10:15:08 GMT)

A book for the beach: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
A thrilling adventure with a compellingly Byronic central character, this is a perfect seaside read though it might put you off going swimmingOn 10 March 1868, Jules Verne was excited. He was deep in the first volume of his latest book whose working title had recently changed from Journey Under the Waters to Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and it was going well. That day he wrote to his editor, Pierre-Jules Hetzel: "Oh my dear Hetzel, if I don't pull this book off, I'll be inconsolable. I've never held a better thing in my hands."I can't think of a better thing to read on the sands. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is arguably Verne's masterpiece. As a classic it has aged wonderfully well: it is escapist fun, but still retains its literary and scientific significance. To dismiss it as simply an adventure story does it a disservice. Yes, Verne's oceanic journey around the world is a ripping yarn, but it is also an eerie tale of isolation and madness, packed full with geographical and scientific accuracies that make the fantastic uncomfortably believable. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:30:00 GMT)

The English Housing Survey: key findings
The full English Housing Survey results have been published and they paint an interesting picture. How much are private renters spending? And how does it compare to mortgage repayments? Every year the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) publish headline figures from the latest English household Survey. Those figures showed that home ownership in England had fallen to lowest level in 25 years.That release in February is followed by an annual household trends report which provides lots of statistics that help paint a picture of English housing in 2012/13. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the proportion of private sector households stayed steady at around 10% of the market. However, the sector has undergone sharp growth since the early 2000s and nearly doubled in size by 2012-13There has been a decline in the proportion of younger mortgagors SOURCE: The English Housing Survey (DCLG) Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:08:07 GMT)

Space is the place again as a new generation of artists embrace Afrofuturism
Janelle Monáe has taken the philosophy into the mainstream, while the likes of Flying Lotus are pushing the spirit of Sun Ra and Jimi Hendrix further forwardEarlier this year, the producer King Britt picked up his phone and started dialling. He was calling friends and contemporaries to sound them out about an event he was curating in New York as part of the Museum of Modern Art's PS1 festival. The night would be billed as Moondance: A Night in the Afro Future, and was designed to display Afrofuturism's contemporary face, featuring lectures and discussions from writers and thinkers, plus live performances."I just called them up and said: 'Look, we don't have a big budget, but we have to do this,'" he recalls. "At first they didn't even believe me. They were like: 'Can you really pull this off?'" Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:00:00 GMT)

Guardians of the Galaxy first look review a whip-smart space romp
A new troupe of intergalactic comedy badasses sets out to save the universe in Marvel's self-satirising superhero movie More on Guardians of the GalaxyHaving amassed a huge pot of money from all those superhero movies, Marvel can afford to have a bit of fun and take some risks, and the result is this irrepressibly rollicking space romp which is likely to fill those coffers even more. Movies like this are usually described in terms of popcorn but a better comparison would be Space Dust: it's fun, wacky, explosive and bursting with artificial colours.The latter certainly gave the make-up department plenty to do. As befits a comic book story, this galaxy is populated by a rainbow nation of humanoids with bright skin tones, coloured contact lenses, ornate body art, zany hairstyles and even zany eyebrow styles. Earth figures only in the prologue, circa 1988, when our future hero, Peter Quill, is abducted by a spaceship, moments after his mother's death. All he can take with him is his old-school Walkman and a mixtape of old hits such as Hooked on a Feeling and Cherry Bomb which come in handy for all those montage sequences he's got to look to forward to. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:00:00 GMT)

A global guide to the first world war - interactive documentary
Ten historians from 10 countries give a brief history of the first world war through a global lens. Using original news reports, interactive maps and rarely-seen footage, including extraordinary scenes of troops crossing Mesopotamia on camels and Italian soldiers fighting high up in the Alps, the half-hour film explores the war and its effects from many different perspectives. You can watch the documentary in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Arabic or Hindi thanks to our partnership with the British Academy.Warning: contains images some viewers may find disturbing Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:48:39 GMT)

Kenyan girls taken to remote regions to undergo FGM in secret
Perpetrators of female genital mutilation becoming more difficult to catch as hospitals and clinics carry out procedure covertlyParents are taking their daughters to remote regions of Kenya to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) in secret, according to the head of the country's new FGM prosecution unit. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:00:03 GMT)

Joe review these woods are lovely, dark and deep
Nicolas Cage cuts a brooding figure in this powerful slice of Southern Gothic realism by David Gordon Green director of Pineapple ExpressHere is a seething piece of social-realist Southern gothic, featuring a powerful performance from a big and broodingly bearded Nicolas Cage. It's a film that also appears to mark the end of the weirdest auteur-detour in modern movie history.In 2000, the then 25-year-old director David Gordon Green released his first movie, George Washington, a luminous, unhurried, gorgeously photographed coming-of-age picture set in North Carolina which seemed to announce him as the heir to Terrence Malick.His followup features did little to change that impression. Here was a deeply serious film-maker with a genuine sense of the spiritual. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 13:59:00 GMT)

Toys are we: 250 years of royal childhood at Buckingham Palace
Baby progress books, milk teeth, rocking horses, a polo mallet and mini Aston Martin go on displayA lifetime of speeches for the monarch has meant dutifully delivering the scripted words of others, a practice she perfected in the pushchair, it would seem. For the first words the Queeen uttered, aged 13 months, were "mama" and "bebe", according to her baby progress book. Which is surprising, given that her parents had set sail to Australia five months previously and had yet to return to her.The book, which notes her first tooth (26 January 1927), when she began to crawl (11th April 1927) and her first pram outing (at 10 days old), is one of hundreds of items, including outfits, toys, christening paraphernalia, lavish gifts and previously unseen family film, now on public display at an exhibition at Buckingham Palace charting 250 years of royal childhood. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:05:00 GMT)

Harvard historian: strategy of climate science denial groups 'extremely successful'
Professor Naomi Oreskes says actions of climate denialists are laying the foundations for the government interventions they fear the mostIn 1965, US President Lyndon Johnson had a special message for the American Congress on conservation of the environment.Worried about the "storm of modern change" threatening cherished landscapes, Johnson said: This generation has altered the composition of the atmosphere on a global scale through a steady increase in carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels.Not really. There are some new faces on the horizon, but recruiting fresh voices has been a tactic for a long time. So even the things that may look new are in fact old. The Heartland Institute has become more visible, and the George Marshall Institute a bit less, but the overall picture continues: these groups continue to dismiss or disparage the science, attack scientists, and sow doubt. They continue to try to block action by confusing us about the facts. And the arguments, the tactics, and the overall strategy has remained the same. And, theyve been extremely successful. CO2 has reached 400 ppm, meaningful action is still not in sight, and people who really understand the scienceunderstand what is at stakeare getting very worried. Oh this is a long story. I was always interested in broad questions about science. History of science gave me the opportunity to pursue those broad questions. Well, I think he is a basically nice guy who has fallen into a trap: the trap of imprecatory denial. He doesnt like the implications of climate change for our political and economic system, so he denies its reality. But climate change will come back to bite us all. It is already starting to. Clearly. One sees all the same strategies and tactics being used there, plus a few additional ones (trotting out geologists to claim there are hidden underwater volcanoes that are responsible for the extra atmospheric CO2.) The Institute of Public Affairs in Australia has been very active trotting out skeptical and denialist claims with little or no basis in evidence. If you go to their web site, they link back to many of the very same groups whose activities we documented in Merchants of Doubt : the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, Competitive Enterprise institute, the Heritage Foundation.Its the same old, same old: defend the free market, deny the reality of market failure, block action that could actually address those failures. And of course, that is the point of the new book: by denying the reality of market failure, and blocking corrective action, these folks are actually undermining our economies, and laying the foundations for kinds of government interventions that will make them pine for the good old days of a carbon tax.Not unless we are talking about black humour. Our editor, when he first approached us, said he found it funny in a Dr Strangelovian way. I took that as a huge compliment.Yes of course. A good deal of the power of that film came from the fact that while it was farce, it was all too true in some waysor at least, all too plausible. It was conceivable that the world would end not in deliberate, calculated aggression, but in stupidity, mistakes, and men and machines run amok. Kubrick understood that. Fortunately, we escaped disaster in the Cold War, because enough people realized what was at stake. Erik and I have often discussed that, in this caseclimate changea lot of people, folks like Nick Minchin includeddont seem to realize what is at stake.I think its a complicated mix. Certainly, there are some very cynical individuals and groups who are protecting their own self-interest, with little or no regard to the consequences for others.There are also those who have bought into the watermelon argumentthat environmentalists are green on the outside, red on the insideand that climate change is just an excuse to bring in socialism by another name. Yes I think so. Thats one reason why these disinformation campaigns have been so successful. Its always easy to find some aspect of the science that is uncertain, or confusing, and focus on that to the exclusion of the larger pictureWell, it certainly would have helped if political leaders had not repeated that disinformation! What I am doing: writing and talking about it, so we can accurately diagnose the problem. You cant solve a problem if you dont know what it is.A book about the solutions? How not to go down the road to collapse? Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 22:12:42 GMT)

Why Branded to Kill is the one film you should watch this week - video
The hitman becomes the hunted in Seijun Suzuki's Branded to Kill. Andrew Pulver explains why you should watch the 1967 thriller, which is re-released this week. It sees Tokyo's Number 3 killer, Hanada, rise through the ranks until a botched job leaves him at the mercy of the city's premiere assassin Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:03:16 GMT)

Siberian dinosaur spreads feathers around the dinosaur tree
Newly discovered Kulindadromeus opens up the possibility of many more dinosaurs having been coated in feather-like structuresFor the last 20 years, huge numbers of fossils from China have dramatically demonstrated that large numbers of dinosaur species that were closely related to the birds had all manner of feathers on their bodies. However, a new find named Kulindadromeus from eastern Russia published today in Science, suggests that in fact feathers, or at least very feather-like structures may have been present in huge numbers of other species of dinosaur, including those which are from totally different branches of the dinosaurian family tree to the birds.The dinosaurs are essentially split into three great evolutionary lineages. The theropods were primarily bipedal carnivores and ultimately gave rise to the birds, and all dinosaurs known with feathers are theropods of some description. The various groups that are evolutionarily closest to the birds are those on which feathers are normally found. Then there are the sauropodomorphs, mostly giant quadrupeds and herbivores with long necks (Diplodocus being the quintessential example) and while they may not look it, are the nearest relatives of the theropods within the dinosaurs. Finally there are the herbivorous ornithischians, which include everything else and home to a bewildering array of different body shapes, including armoured forms, those with horns and spikes and all manner of odd headgear, and both bipeds and quadrupeds. Although soft tissues like scales and feather are rarely preserved (theres a reason most dinosaur exhibits in museums focus on bones) we do have quite a bit of information on the body cover of many dinosaurs. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:26:30 GMT)

Special Demonstration Squad: unit which vanished into undercover world
Analysis: Officers infiltrated political groups for 40 years but also targeted 18 families fighting for justice from policeThe Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) had such a furtive existence that many senior officers knew nothing about it. An undercover unit, it infiltrated hundreds of groups across the political spectrum over 40 years.The SDS recruited very informally a tap on the shoulder or a discreet word in a corridor. Recruits would vanish into a secret undercover world for years, handing in their warrant cards and never visiting a police station. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:17:13 GMT)

The threat to chalk streams, our unique contribution to global ecology
They are an irreplaceable relic of our past, but over-abstraction and abuse is placing these unique rivers at riskFor a garden water feature, most people make do with a fish pond. The well-to-do might run to a decorative fountain. Not Victoria Harrison. Rolling in and out beneath the floor of her dining room in medieval Itchen Stoke mill, she has almost a mile of one of Englands clearest, purest and especially in the heat of last week coolest streams. This is so wonderful, we hate to keep it to ourselves, she says as we cross the rickety wooden bridge across her stream and onto the meadows. We gaze down at wild trout and grayling loitering among dark mats of Ranunculus weeds, looking for mayflies hatching among the gravel beds in the shallow stream. Dragonflies hover above. We love to share all this. We had six school groups here last term. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:38:48 GMT)

Athens and Palermo: the most dissatisfied cities in Europe analysis
A report looking into satisfaction levels in 79 European cities does little to shake the stereotype of Nordic utopia, while Mediterranean cities seethe with discontent and British ones seem okay with their lot See the full breakdown of city perceptionsDespite both being hit hard by the financial crash, what makes Reykjaviks residents the most satisfied in Europe, and those in Athens the least? A new report on the perceptions of city life in the UK and Europe has mapped a portrait of satisfaction levels across the continents cities. Released on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics and supported by the European commission, the 2012 Perception Survey interviewed roughly 49,000 people in 79 cities across Europe. People were asked their opinions on different aspects of their city from the affordability of housing to the quality of the air. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:29:14 GMT)

Pet Shop Boys review Alan Turing Prom curiously lacking in modernity
Royal Albert Hall, LondonA Prom dedicated to a 'man from the future' was stirring, but cried out for more input from Chris LoweNomenclature can get tricky when you think outside the box. What are we to call A Man From the Future, the Pet Shop Boys' tribute to mathematician Alan Turing, elegantly premiered last Wednesday at the Proms? A pop oratorio? A classical audiobiography?It is narrated by Juliet Stevenson, unkindly housed in a shonky-looking plywood box behind the orchestra. Her steely, authoritative tones remain purposely impassive, a judge passing harsh sentence on an era, even when they describe the death of the Bletchley Park code-breaker's first love from tuberculosis. A lonely bell clangs for this boy called Chris. Later, it clangs for Turing himself, as the piece in eight movements draws to an intense close. We pop heathens do know not to clap in between them. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:19:00 GMT)

What do 13-year-old girls aspire to? interactive
London this week hosted the inaugural Girl Summit focusing on how to enable girls and women to live free from violence and discrimination and achieve their potential. But what do 13-year-old girls aspire to? What holds them back? What would they change if they were president? We asked girls from Colombia, Ghana, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, Rwanda and the UK to share insights into their daily lives, from breakfast to homework, and reveal the world they want to see Global development podcast: are girls better than boys? Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:58:24 GMT)

Fire doesn't just destroy cities it is the reason they look the way they do
Two months after fire gutted the Glasgow School of Art, it is fire itself playing the same mercurial role it always has in our urban environment that will help shape its reconstructionThe flames flickering through the windows of the Glasgow School of Arts famous library were a painful reminder of fires potential to destroy the most precious things, and indeed the number of great works of architecture lost to fire is uncountable. Without it, of course, we would never have achieved civilisation in the first place, yet even today to be indoors is to always take a certain risk that one could burn to death a risk most of us ignore. But what we think of even less, perhaps, is that fire the risk of it, and the measures taken to prevent it is one of the primary forces that determines the physical shape of our cities. Certainly it will mould the way the Glasgow School of Art is rebuilt.Since the beginning of sedentary human existence, fire has shaped our settlements. Many of the earliest ones, such as the neolithic Scara Brae in Orkney, have single-roomed homes ordered around a central hearth, an arrangement found in traditional societies all over the world. From teepees to longhouses, the central fire, ventilated through the roof, was the very first climate-control mechanism. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 09:11:46 GMT)

Families of abducted girls fight Boko Haram and a supine government
Distraught parents cling to hope, 100 days after Islamist rebels kidnapped nearly 300 of their daughters from a school in Borno stateSamuel Yaga was describing his missing daughters dream of becoming a doctor when the air went from his lungs. One hundred days after Sarah was abducted, the raw emotion still has a tendency to detonate unexpectedly. Could a child who would always fall asleep clutching a book survive so long in the grip of a sect whose opposition to western education has led them to burn schoolchildren alive, he wondered.It would be better if we had a body to bury, he began, then took a deep, shaky breath. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:59:20 GMT)

Sick chicken: what you need to know and what the government won't tell you video
A Guardian undercover investigation exposes conditions inside the chicken factories that supply some of the biggest supermarket and fast-food chains in the business, including KFC, Tesco, Aldi, Asda, Marks & Spencer and Nando's. Find out why the drive for cheaper chicken is making more than 250,000 of us sick every year Revealed: the dirty secret of the UK's poultry industry Continue reading...
(Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:47:00 GMT)

Curtains? Cape Town's much-loved art house cinema under threat
It has survived South Africa's apartheid censors and political boycotts, but going digital is the Labia film theatre's biggest challenge yet. Rebecca Davis reports A love letter to African cinema share your stories and photos The cliché most often attached to the Labia is that walking into its dark interior is like "stepping into a bygone era". The experience is certainly nothing like the slick, soulless operations of the major multiplexes. Tickets are purchased from an old wooden booth. A bar will serve you a beer or glass of wine to take inside one of the cinemas four screens. Most of the staff have been clipping tickets and loading up projection reels here for well over two decades.The seats could be more comfortable; the sound quality more distinct. But the Labias patrons overlook these aspects in favour of the slightly dishevelled romance of an establishment which turned 65 this year. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:16:35 GMT)

Hard Times review Tom Clark and Anthony Heath debunk the recovery
The hype on the economy does not bear much relation to the grim realities that most people still faceThe politics of the crash and most people's economic reality finally parted company on 27 June 2013. That was when the Office for National Statistics published revised data showing that the country had not, as previously declared, been through a "double-dip" recession. Growth at the start of 2012 had been only flat, not negative.For Conservatives, this was the final whistle signalling victory in their ideological grudge match against Labour. Ed Balls, they said, was intellectually routed; George Osborne's vindication was total. The chancellor's plan had worked. The truth is more complex. Balls had not quite predicted a "double dip", only warned that it was a risk generated by Osborne's premature assault on public spending. And he was right to the extent that a discernible recovery in 2010 stalled. Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:30:00 GMT)

Isis orders all girls and women in Mosul to undergo FGM, UN report says
Report says 'fatwa' issued by militant group in and around Iraqi city could affect 4 million, but doubts expressed on social mediaUpdate: Isis denies ordering girls in Mosul to undergo FGM Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:19:59 GMT)

This new wave of tattoos gets under my skin
For years I had a perfectly serviceable prejudice against body art. But now nice people are inking up. Even Evan Davis Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 12:24:47 GMT)

Queen photobombs Hockeyroo Jayde Taylors Commonwealth Games selfie
Australian hockey player shares selfie taken in Glasgow The Queen photo-bombed our selfie!! #sheevensmiled Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 23:43:03 GMT)

Air Algérie flight AH5017 wreckage 'found in Mali'
Plane flying from Burkina Faso to Algeria is reportedly discovered after losing contact with air traffic controllers Continue reading...
(Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:07:05 GMT)

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