Boris Johnson to face MPs as speculation mounts over confidence ballot a UK politics live
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:16:03 GMT
From https:

Latest updates: some Conservative MPs believed to be preparing letters of no confidence in PM ahead of PMQs

Boris Johnson is expected to instruct millions to return to workplaces across England as he tries to placate furious MPs with a review of Covid restrictions that could end all rules introduced to combat Omicron.

The cabinet will meet on this morning to examine Covid data and review plan B restrictions imposed in December amid the rapid spread of the variant, with Johnson set to update the Commons later in the day.

I think they are a crucial building block of our baseline, a bit like Test and Trace, Test and Protect for us in Scotland, the alcohol gels, the vaccinations, I think these are what weare going to be left with post-Omicron.

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Focus on phonics to teach reading is afailing childrena, says landmark study
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:05 GMT
From https:

Government urged to drop emphasis on synthetic phonics in English schools as not backed up by latest evidence

A landmark study has described the way primary school pupils are taught to read in England as auninformed and failing childrena, calling on the government to drop its narrow focus on phonics.

Researchers at UCLas Institute of Education say the current emphasis on synthetic phonics, which teaches children to read by helping them to identify and pronounce sounds which they blend together to make words, is anot underpinned by the latest evidencea.

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UK inflation rises to highest level in almost 30 years at 5.4%
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:50:28 GMT
From https:

Cost of living crisis worsens, piling pressure on Bank of England to raise interest rates again

Britainas cost of living crisis worsened in December after inflation jumped to 5.4% a its highest level in almost 30 years a driven by the higher cost of clothes, food and footwear.

Heaping further pressure on Bank of England policymakers to push up interest rates when they meet next month, the price of furniture and eating out also increased as shortages of staff pushed up wage costs and hold-ups at UK ports hiked the cost of imports.

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Wetherspoonas Tim Martin attacks No 10 ahypocrisya as sales crash
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 08:59:43 GMT
From https:

Trading update from pub chain shows like-for-like sales to mid-January down 15.6% on previous year

The pub chain JD Wetherspoon has criticised the governmentas ahypocrisya for holding parties at 10 Downing Street while restrictions forced pub sales to crash.

Wetherspoon also said the latest plan B restrictions brought in at the start of the Omicron wave of infections in December had depressed sales over the crucial festive period in the hospitality sector for a second year running.

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Meningitis B cases rising sharply among students in England, study finds
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:03 GMT
From https:

Exclusive: Cases are exceeding pre-pandemic levels, particularly in university students

Meningitis B cases among students in England are rising sharply and exceeding pre-pandemic levels, according to a report by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Meningococcal group B bacteria are a serious cause of life-threatening infections, including meningitis and sepsis. While most people recover, some can die. Others may suffer a permanent disability as a result, including brain damage, epilepsy, hearing loss, or the loss of limbs.

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Protesting Winter Olympics athletes aface punishmenta, suggests Beijing official
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:42:00 GMT
From https:

Organising committee official warns against aany behaviour or speech that is against the Olympic spirita

Any athlete behaviour that is against the Olympic spirit or Chinese rules or laws will be subject to acertain punishmenta, a Beijing 2022 official has said in response to a question about the possibility of athlete protests at next monthas Winter Games.

It comes shortly after human rights advocates told athletes they were better off staying silent for the duration of the Games and amid concerns over the online security of attendeesa data contained in a mandatory phone app.

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Man killed and two seriously injured in Lancashire bridge collapse
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:56:45 GMT
From https:

Eleven people were thrown from all-terrain vehicle and trailer when crossing on farm gave way

A man has died and two people have been seriously injured in Lancashire after a vehicle and a trailer fell into a river when a bridge collapsed.

Eleven people were thrown from a Polaris Ranger and its trailer when a crossing on a farm in the Moor Lane area of Roeburndale gave way at about 4.25pm on Tuesday, Lancashire police said.

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KPMG fined APS4.3m for aserious failingsa in Conviviality audit
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:42:08 GMT
From https:

Accountant also reprimanded severely for failing to check firmas claims in latest blow to reputation

KPMG has been fined APS4.3m for failures during its audit of the Bargain Booze owner Conviviality and severely reprimanded in the latest blow to its reputation.

The accounting regulator, the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), found aa serious lack of competencea in KPMGas 2017 audit of the company, which collapsed within nine months of the accounts being signed off.

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Small gardens as vital as big ones for conserving bees, says study
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:20:14 GMT
From https:

Many urban gardens rich in pollinator-friendly plants and provide food all year round, find Bristol researchers

Small gardens are as important as big gardens for conserving bees and other pollinators in UK cities, a study has found.

Worldwide, bee populations are declining. Habitat destruction, pesticide use, and climate change have led to the disappearance of some pollinators, but researchers found that small urban gardens are some of the most pollinator-friendly places.

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Dairylea cheese ad showing child eating while upside down banned over choking risk
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 03:37:04 GMT
From https:

Advertising Standards Authority says advert attracted 14 complaints alleging unsafe behaviour

An advert featuring two girls hanging upside down while one eats a Dairylea cheese triangle has been banned following complaints that it could encourage unsafe behaviour.

The video-on-demand ad, seen on ITV Hub, All 4 and My 5 in August, shows the girls hanging upside down from the crossbar of a goal at a local park and chatting. One wonders where food goes if you are upside down, and when the other suggests her brain, she opens the cheese snack and eats it.

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aStop talking about the problem a fix the bloody thing!a Keir Starmer on Boris Johnsonas parties and his plan to win power
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:05 GMT
From https:

With Labour ahead in the polls and the prime minister on the ropes, the former lawyer is riding high. But can he finally connect with the country?

There could not be a better day to meet Sir Keir Starmer than last Wednesday. A few hours earlier, at Prime Ministeras Questions, Boris Johnson had apologised for his presence at a Downing Street party held during lockdown in a manner that was as ludicrous as it was humiliating. When the prime minister said that he didnat realise the 30 to 40 people gathered in his garden boozing and eating food from a long table constituted a party, Starmer told him he had run out of road. aHis defence that he didnat realise he was at a party is so ridiculous that itas actually offensive to the British public,a Starmer told the Commons. aIs he now going to do the decent thing and resign?a Not surprisingly, partygate has helped Labour to its biggest lead over the Conservatives since 2013.

I half expect the leader of the opposition to be on a high. But I am not sure he does highs. Starmer is the anti-Johnson. While the prime minister appears to pride himself on being a feckless buffoon, Starmer is the straight manas straight man a so solid he verges on stolid. He rises to greet me and offers an elbow by way of a handshake. He is wearing blue trousers and a pristine white shirt, sleeves rolled up. It is a metaphor as much as a sartorial statement.

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aIam not getting through the montha: five Britons on the cost of living crisis
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 08:25:19 GMT
From https:

People who are feeling the pinch explain how their expenses are stacking up

Most of primary school teacher Kate Lockeas salary goes on her rent a and in the last month, thatas gone up by 10%. Combined with the rising costs of food and energy, Locke, 39, is increasingly worried about money. aBy end of month Iam in my overdraft, I havenat been able to save anything a thereas no stability,a Locke, who lives in Reading, says.

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aIam willing to take on absolutely everyone!a Kwajo Tweneboa on fighting for Britainas poorest tenants
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:10:37 GMT
From https:

After his dying father was nursed in their vermin-infested flat, the student took on the countryas biggest social landlord. Now, he champions all those living in terrible conditions

Kwajo Tweneboa adored his father. They were very similar: they both enjoyed a laugh, had an interest in current affairs and made sacrifices to care for others. Then, in January 2020, Tweneboa watched his father, who suddenly became terminally ill with cancer, die. All the while, cockroaches, mice and flies infested their dilapidated housing association flat on the Eastfields estate in Mitcham, south London.

Tweneboa, a 23-year-old student, shared the flat with his two sisters, 24 and 21. He says he asked the housing association, Clarion, to make repairs for more than a year, with little success, before deciding to take further action. Since then, he has become a champion for his neighbours and all those living in similarly squalid conditions, forcing landlords and housing associations to acknowledge their responsibilities and make urgent, necessary repairs.

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aIn Kabul thereas no justicea: the female student who fled to Pakistan
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:00:07 GMT
From https:

After the collapse of the Afghan capital, Amina says what followed was worse than she could imagine

Amina* used to work for an NGO in Kabul while studying at university. She was forced to flee to Pakistan with her family once the Taliban took over. She remains trapped and fearful for her and her sistersa future.

I currently live in Pakistan with my family. Before I left Afghanistan, I was working as a programme administrator for an NGO and I also studied business at university. When the Taliban took over, I had no certain future. My education was not clear; my school was closed.

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Is midnight upon us? Doomsday Clock panel to set risk of global catastrophe
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to unveil its measure of how close human civilisation is to the edge of extinction

On 24 October 1962, an American nuclear chemist, Harrison Brown, started to pen a guest editorial for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just as the Cuban missile crisis reached its climax.

aI am writing on a plane en route from Los Angeles to Washington and for all I know this editorial a| may never be published,a Brown said. aNever in history have people and nations been so close to death and destruction on such a vast scale. Midnight is upon us.a

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True blue: how to fall in love with jeans again
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

The tracksuit era is over, and denim is back. But with a dizzying number of styles a and claims of sustainability to wade through a which will you pick?

The tracksuit era began a as every history student will learn from now on a on 11 March 2020, the day that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, and the age of lockdowns commenced. The details of its demise are, as yet, not officially verified a but they say that journalism is the first draft of history, so Iam calling it for 31 October 2021, when the dystopian seaweed-green tracksuits of Squid Game became the go-to Halloween costume.

So now it is time to get back into your jeans. I donat just mean getting them done up, although there is no doubt that may be a little tricky after two turgid years spent feeling dissatisfied with life while in eyeballing distance of the fridge. No, the real challenge is getting your head back into jeans, not your waistline. The most telling marker of the casualisation of our wardrobes is that jeans, which used to be what we wore to dress down, can now feel like too much effort. Itas not that Iam saying our standards have slipped, but a well, actually, that is exactly what Iam saying.

There is nothing more satisfying to reach for in the morning than your favourite denims. Jeans are timeless and democratic, because while silhouettes, colours and washes come and go, everyone who owns a pair of jeans makes them their own. To look at someone who is wearing a pair that they love and that suit them is like looking at the perfect black and white portrait: candid, but flattering.

This yearas Golden Globes ceremony had no red carpet, but it was a fashion moment that has turbocharged the denim revival. Jane Campionas The Power of the Dog, one of the nightas big winners, is set in rural Montana in the 1920s, hinged between the dust-and-horses iconography of the cinematic western tradition and the modernity and raw energy of the 20th century as it begins to roar to top speed. Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil acts out masculine swagger in broken-in jeans with chaps, but it is Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter who steals the fashion show. Slight and gawky in the stiff new jeans that his mother has bought him so that he will fit in on the ranch, he looks like a boy soldier in new uniform.

In westerns, jeans stand for real-world toughness a resilience, to use the buzzword of the hour a but also for the American dream. The brass rivets that are a feature of every traditional pair glint like the nuggets for which goldrushers once panned the rivers of the western states. Also, jeans represent sex a as they always have and always will. (Think of the album cover of Bruce Springsteenas Born in the USA, with the Bossas jeans-clad back view standing in front of the stripes of the flag.) Resilience, fantasy, adventure and sex appeal: it is little wonder, really, that jeans are a style icon.

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Boba Fett is dead: how Disney+ ruined Star Warsa coolest character
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:35:42 GMT
From https:

The Book of Boba Fett has resurrected the badass bounty hunter, only to destroy everything that once made him so great. Itas a fate worse than being eaten alive

Boba Fett was definitely dead. We all saw it: a partially blinded Han Solo unknowingly whacked him with a stick in Return of the Jedi, his jetpack malfunctioned, and then he fell into the mouth of a massive sand monster. You could tell by the way it swallowed and belched.

Yet in The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian spin-off series currently streaming on Disney+, weare expected to believe that the iconic bounty hunter (now played by Temuera Morrison) actually survived in the acid-filled belly of the sarlacc, having siphoned oxygen from a stormtrooperas helmet, before burning his way out with the flamethrower on his wrist, then blindly clawing through several metres of sand. Improbable, you might think, but then no one ever really dies in Star Wars. There are action figures and sequels to sell.

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Cheer coach Monica Aldama: aThe allegations were shocking and devastating for all of usa
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 08:00:06 GMT
From https:

The head coach and breakout star of the Netflix hit, Cheer, talks about her high expectations for her cheerleading team, and how she has been affected by claims of child abuse against one of the showas stars

Two years ago, hardly anyone outside the world of competitive cheerleading would have been familiar with Navarro College, based in the small Texan town of Corsicana, its junior college cheer squad, or its head coach, Monica Aldama. But the global success of Cheer, Netflixas Emmy-winning docuseries following Aldama and her teamas journey to the national championships in Daytona, changed all of that.

Audiences were immediately captivated by the technical skill, athleticism and personal dramas of competitive cheerleading. Cast members became stars, garnering huge social media followings and appearing on the likes of The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Oprahas live tour. Aldamaas signature blond highlights and no-nonsense amat talka were satirised on SNL. Reese Witherspoon even said she inspired her to the point of tears.

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Covid live: Germany reports record rise of cases; Czech Republic considers mandatory vaccines for key workers
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:15:58 GMT
From https:

Daily rise of more than 100,000 cases seen in Germany for first time; over-60s and key professionals may be targeted by new Czech measures

China has reported its lowest daily count of local Covid infections in two weeks after cities clamped down on high-risk areas, quarantined infections and conducted mass testing on residents.

Mainland China reported a total of 55 domestically transmitted infections for Tuesday, according to data from the national health commission, lower than the 127 recorded a day earlier and marking the fewest since 1 January.

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Papua New Guinea reports first Omicron cases, amid fears over low vaccination rate
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 02:13:24 GMT
From https:

Authorities have called for calm while announcing the first case of the virulent strain of Covid-19

Local authorities in Papua New Guinea are calling for calm, after the country announced its first case of the Omicron variant.

Authorities announced on Tuesday the case was a man who came to Papua New Guinea in December from South Africa, after travelling through London and Hong Kong. He initially tested negative with no symptoms upon arrival in the country.

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Dumped fishing gear is killing marine life. Yet no governments seem to care | George Monbiot
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:04 GMT
From https:

One Scottish trawlerman is so incensed by the dumping of nets heas come to me a a longstanding critic of his industry a with evidence

How could they be so careless? How do fishing vessels lose so many of their nets and longlines that this aghost geara, drifting through the oceans, now presents a mortal threat to whales, dolphins, turtles and much of the rest of the life of the sea? After all, fishing gear is expensive. It is either firmly attached to the vessel or, using modern technologies, easily located.

Iave asked myself these questions for a while, and I think I now have an answer. It comes from an unlikely source: a trawlerman working in Scotland. Iam not a fan of trawling, but I recognise that some operations are more damaging than others. He and his colleagues now appear to be pulling in more nets than fish. On trip after trip they catch vast hauls of ghost gillnets and longlines, often wrapped around marine animals. He has sent me his photos, which are so disturbing I can scarcely bear to look: drowned seabirds, decapitated seals and fish and crustaceans of many species, which died a long, slow death. Where are these nets and lines coming from? He believes theyare being deliberately discarded.

I have checked his identity, but he wants to remain anonymous. Like other local trawlers, his boat brings its waste to land. The problem, he says, lies with large vessels, many from France and Spain, that spend four to six weeks at a time at sea. They donat have enough storage space for the rubbish they generate: most of the hold is dedicated to frozen fish. Worn-out gillnets and longlines should be returned to port for disposal. But those he retrieves have a revealing characteristic: the expensive parts, those that can be reused a floats, weights and hooks a have been cut off. This, he believes, is a giveaway: if you find a net or line like that, it has been deliberately thrown overboard.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

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Being loud and female is about more than volume a itas about being unashamed | Viv Groskop
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:20:30 GMT
From https:

The sacking of Dr Annette Plaut hints at an entrenched attitude to women who wonat pipe down

Should noisy people be tolerated, celebrated or stifled? And are loud women particularly objectionable? Dr Annette Plaut was sacked from her post in the physics department of the University of Exeter after 29 years, and claims that the combination of her being afemale and louda led to her losing her job. She has just been awarded APS101,000 for unfair dismissal. The university and the human resources department could not tolerate her volume, she said, because it acontradicts their stereotypical assumptions of how a woman should behavea.

Clearly there is more to this case than simply volume. You donat suddenly notice overnight that your colleague has the voice of Thor, God of Thunder, after 29 years, and the university argued during the tribunal that she was dismissed for the way she dealt with two PhD students. But the alouda argument reveals something interesting. One personas avalueda colleague a as Plaut was described a is anotheras definition of aboisterousa and aoverbearinga, as she was also called. Her reaction to the tribunal outcome? aI have a naturally loud voice. As such I have no ability to sense when I am speaking loudly.a The University of Exeter has said it will appeal against the decision.

Viv Groskop is a writer and the host of the podcast How to Own the Room: Women and the Art of Brilliant Speaking

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My baby screeches like a banshee and my heart melts. What have I become? | Arwa Mahdawi
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:00:06 GMT
From https:

You know that previously sensible friend who now beams every time her perfect child farts? Reader, thatas me

Uh oh, it has happened. I have officially turned into that person. You know who I mean: the adult who seems oblivious to the fact that their screeching infant is not the most adorable thing to crawl the face of this Earth but an out-of-control noise machine. That person is the previously sensible and self-aware friend of yours who beams every time their perfect progeny farts or grunts, and acts like it is the cutest thing they have ever seen. aWhat happened to you?a I used to think, when I was childfree, and hung out with friends who had procreated. aHow do you not realise that your child is sort of annoying? What did parenthood do to your brain?a

I do not have the scientific answers to this but I can say that parenthood has undoubtedly done a number on my own brain. I have 100% been baby-pilled. My eight month old will be screeching like a banshee and, instead of finding it irritating, I will look at her perfect little face and my heart will melt. I find myself googling things such as: if my baby screams a lot at an unusually high decibel level, does it mean that they are gifted? (The jury is out on that but my kid is obviously brilliant).

Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

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Australian Open 2022 day three: Zverev in action after Barty, Nadal and Osaka win a live!
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:16:23 GMT
From https:

First set: Barty 5-0 Bronzetti* (*denotes next server) Barty sends down another ace on her way to a five-game lead, sealing the game with a whipped forehand winner that Bronzetti has absolutely no answer to. Pretty one-side stuff out there at the moment.

First set: *Barty 4-0 Bronzetti (*denotes next server) Bartyas looking unassailable - she moves to 40-0 baring breaking sweat as Bronzetti struggles to keep pace. The Italian is broken again, and this first set is now appearing to be a formality.

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The Spin | England and Australia hit by off-field issues before Womenas Ashes series
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:35:01 GMT
From https:

Late rescheduling, weather, injuries and Covid-19 leave both teams with issues as the seven-match series looms

The Blundstone Arena in Hobart recently provided the scene for English cricketing humiliation, but England Women have happier memories there. In January 2014, Charlotte Edwards hit 92 not out to inspire her team to a nine-wicket win in a T20 that was, in the new multi-format era, an Ashes-winning knock.

Edwards brushed tears from her eyes, lifted the trophy in triumph and England had a nice, deserved night out on the town to celebrate (and no police had to be called in to send them to bed, either).

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Yorkshire appoint Ottis Gibson as new head coach on three-year contract
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:41:43 GMT
From https:
  • County rebuilding management team in wake of racism scandal
  • Former Windies and South Africa coach will start in February

Yorkshire have appointed Ottis Gibson as their new head coach on a three-year deal as the county begins rebuilding in the wake of the racism abuse scandal.

The 52-year-old, who has been head coach for the West Indies and South Africa as well as working as a bowling coach for England, is the latest new addition to a revamped backroom staff at Headingley.

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Can monobob shake up the world of bobsleigh on its Olympic debut?
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:08 GMT
From https:

The one-woman event will make its bow at Beijing 2022, and efforts have been made to make it a discipline that changes the status quo

Can a one-person event make a sport more diverse?

Consider monobob, the accurately named bobsleigh event that will make its Olympic debut this year, six years after its first Youth Olympic Games competition. The name says it all a the driver does everything by herself.

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Digital fans represent footballas future so should clubs start listening? | Paul MacInnes
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

Online supporters are seen as a group to make money from but their opinions rarely count in a sporting sense

In 2020 the European Club Association conducted research into what it called the aFuture Fana. A survey across seven countries asked 14,000 people about their interest in football and how they interacted with the game. The survey recorded that among all fans only 40% regularly watched professional football in a stadium. Meanwhile 51% said they played Fifa at least once a month.

This research caused a degree of consternation in the ECA, especially with its then president, Andrea Agnelli, who believed that amany traditional assumptions about fans need to changea and that the game may need to adapt to meet them. Within months, however, Agnellias thoughts had been rendered moot because he had been forced out of the ECA for embracing that most radical of changes: the European Super League.

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Test cricketas next challenge: how to avoid another lopsided Ashes series | Geoff Lemon
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 05:38:24 GMT
From https:

Given the desert of competitiveness in recent times it is reasonable to ask what is the point of England visiting Australia

On what was supposed to be the day after the Hobart Test, all was quiet. England had wrapped up an epochally anaemic Ashes defeat leaving enough spare days to squeeze in an embarrassing visit from police to the worldas meekest sunrise rager, telling off cricketers who had been drinking in their whites for longer than they had been required to play in them. The constabulary arrived to extinguish a cigar sparked by England staffer Graham Thorpe, who then decided to video the players present.

It ended up at a newspaper within a day. As batting coach of a team that had just been bowled out for 147, 192, 185, 68, 188 and 124, among other embarrassments, you for one thing might be short cigar-worthy moments, and for another might be inclined to keep your head down.

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What have been the closest TV score abbreviations for two football teams? | The Knowledge
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:08 GMT
From https:

Plus: long runs of leagues won by non-domestic managers, players and refs colliding, and playing in all 11 positions

When Chelsea met Chesterfield in the FA Cup third round, the preferred hashtag was #CHECHF rather than the more accurate and frankly soul-stirring #CHECHE. But this act of cultural vandalism did at least facilitate a decent question, and give our readers the opportunity to burst with trivia.

aWhen Colchester United knocked Crystal Palace out of the League Cup two years ago I thought it was just your everyday shock,a writes Neil OaSullivan. aHowever, the full significance is apparent as the abbreviations for the two teams differ by just one place alphabetically: CPL v COL.a

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The Bengals find themselves with an unfamiliar feeling: playoff success
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:00:07 GMT
From https:

The Bengals won their first postseason game in 31 years last weekend. Much of their success is down to a young quarterback-coaching duo

Only one year has passed since Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown felt the need to issue a statement explaining why he was keeping head coach Zac Taylor, whose Bengals had won just six of 32 games in his first two seasons.

Brown, the 86-year-old son of the late legendary Hall of Fame coach and Bengals founder Paul Brown, ended his statement with this kind-of-silly line (which should have been accompanied by the sound of a snarling tiger): aNext year, we will earn our stripes.a

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Expanding national parks not enough to protect nature, say scientists
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:30:05 GMT
From https:

aUrgenta coordinated action to tackle overconsumption, farming subsidies and the climate crisis also needed to halt biodiversity loss

Expanding national parks and protected areas will not be enough to halt the destruction of nature, warn leading scientists, who say urgent action on overconsumption, harmful subsidies and the climate crisis is also required to halt biodiversity loss.

Governments are expected to commit to a Paris-style agreement for nature at Cop15 in Kunming, China, later this year, with targets that include protecting at least 30% of the oceans and land by 2030.

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Northern leaders to put culture at centre of regionas post-pandemic recovery
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 00:01:05 GMT
From https:

Report making case for culture as catalyst for levelling up wins cross-party backing

Think of athe northa and images that come to mind include Antony Gormleyas Angel of the North, the sculpture of Henry Moore and Manchesteras music scene.

But now a rare show of cross-party unity has called for all of the cultural icons of northern England to be a catalyst to rebuild the region and rebalance it with the rest of the UK.

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Ex GuantA!namo detainee plans legal action to restore British passport
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:03 GMT
From https:

Moazzam Beggas application for new passport rejected despite terror prosecution collapsing in 2014

A former GuantA!namo detainee is planning legal action against Priti Patel to try to restore his British passport, which was stripped from him eight years ago after two trips to Syria.

Moazzam Beggas application for a new passport was rejected in September 2021, even though a terror prosecution relating to his time in Syria collapsed in 2014, after which police said they accepted he was innocent.

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Burberry predicts 35% rise in annual profits backed by Asia sales
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:25:23 GMT
From https:

UK luxury brand records 22% sales growth in Asia over pre-pandemic levels but 4% slide in Europe

Burberry is forecasting that full-year profits will grow 35% compared with last year, as strong sales of its luxury clothing and bags in Asia and the US drive its trading rebound from the pandemic.

The British luxury brand said full price sales were up 26% compared with pre-pandemic levels in the three months to 25 December and 10% growth in the previous quarter, as it sold more full-price items including Burberry trainers, raincoats and bags.

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Government pauses plans to rewrite UK copyright laws after authors protest
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:01:40 GMT
From https:

Intellectual property rule changes were mooted in the wake of Brexit but have been shelved after warnings about how this could hit writersa incomes

After authors including Kate Mosse and Philip Pullman warned that proposals to change the UKas copyright laws could be adevastatinga for writers, the government has paused its plans.

The Intellectual Property Office launched a consultation last summer into UK copyright after Brexit. Writers and publishers had feared that if the acopyright exhaustiona rule were changed, governing when the control of a rights holder over the distribution of their property expires, it could lead to a flood of cheap international editions of books.

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Boris Johnsonas faster broadband promise is being broken, say MPs
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 00:01:05 GMT
From https:

UK alittle nearer to closing great digital dividea between cities and rural areas, says committee

Boris Johnsonas promise to alevel upa the nation by providing next-generation-speed broadband to most homes by 2025 is under threat as rural dwellers are left behind in the internet revolution, according to a report by parliamentas spending watchdog.

The report by the public accounts committee found that the government is relying too heavily on companies, most notably BT Openreach and Virgin Media O2, to achieve Johnsonas key election manifesto pledge of addressing the UKas status as a global laggard in broadband speeds.

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First aid shipments leave for Tonga, amid fears aid workers could bring atsunami of Covida
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 04:13:00 GMT
From https:

Australia and New Zealand dispatch naval vessels carrying material to help provide temporary shelter and clean drinking water after volcanic eruption

Australia and New Zealand have started to dispatch aid to Tonga, amid fears that relief workers could bring a atsunami of Covida cases to the Pacific Island nation that has so far recorded just one case of the virus.

New Zealand has dispatched two naval vessels with relief supplies onboard. Defence minister Peeni Henare said they were expected to arrive in four days, though could arrive as soon as Friday if the weather holds.

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New York attorney general alleges Trump firm misled banks and tax officials
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:34:50 GMT
From https:

Court filing says investigators are seeking to question Donald Trump and his two eldest children

The New York attorney generalas office has told a court that its investigators have uncovered evidence that the former US president Donald Trumpas company used afraudulent or misleadinga asset valuations to get loans and tax benefits.

The court filing late on Tuesday said state authorities had not yet decided whether to bring a civil lawsuit in connection with the allegations, but that investigators needed to question Trump and his two eldest children as part of their inquiries.

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AndrA(c) Leon Talley, influential fashion journalist, dies aged 73
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 05:49:23 GMT
From https:

The former editor-at-large of Vogue was famous for his big personality and as a champion of Black designers and models

AndrA(c) Leon Talley, the influential fashion journalist and former editor-at-large of US Vogue under Anna Wintour, has died at the age of 73.

TMZ reported that Talley had passed away on Tuesday at a New York hospital, of an unknown illness. His death was later confirmed by his literary agent, David Vigliano.

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Ancient metal tubes unearthed in 1897 could be oldest surviving drinking straws
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:06 GMT
From https:

Gold and silver tubes, each more than a metre long, were discovered in North Caucasus

A set of ancient gold and silver tubes dating to about 5,500 years ago and unearthed in North Caucasus in Russia could be the worldas oldest surviving drinking straws, experts have claimed.

The eight thin-walled tubes, each more than a metre in length with a narrow perforated tip, were found in the largest of three compartments containing human remains, discovered during the excavation of a mound near Maykop in the summer of 1897.

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Man charged with murder after nine-year-old girlas body found in a barrel near Blue Mountains
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 04:32:05 GMT
From https:

A 31-year-old man was arrested in Surry Hills on Tuesday night and faced court on Wednesday after the missing girlas body was found near the Colo River

New South Wales police say they have found the remains of a child in a barrel in bushland near the Colo River that they believe is a nine-year-old girl missing in the Blue Mountains since late last week.

The girl, who can no longer be named due to a murder charge being laid, had been holidaying with family at Wildenstein Private Gardens in Mount Wilson west of Sydney before she was reported missing on Friday.

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SuperMoustache! Sounds like a job for Venezuelaas socialist superhero
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

A cartoon character smiting imperialist enemies a a dead ringer for President NicolA!s Maduro a has inspired acclaim and derision

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No a itas a Venezuelan propaganda campaign designed to burnish NicolA!s Maduroas strongman credentials with the help of a caped crusader called SuperBigote a or SuperMoustache.

The musclebound cartoon superhero a who bears an unmistakable resemblance to Venezuelaas authoritarian president a has been met with acclaim or derision, depending on which side of the countryas bitter political schism viewers stand.

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Israeli police evict Palestinian family from Sheikh Jarrah home
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 08:01:12 GMT
From https:

Authorities demolish house in East Jerusalem neighbourhood in early morning raid after standoff

Israeli police have evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, demolishing the dwelling in a case that has drawn international attention.

The police raid on Wednesday was launched two days after a member of the Salhiya family took to the roof of the house, threatening to blow it up with gas canisters if they were forced out.

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Italian police arrest alleged Black Axe Nigerian mafia members over trafficking
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:30:04 GMT
From https:

Four arrests of cult-like criminal gang members made in southern Italy after Nigerian woman forced into prostitution comes forward

Four alleged members of the Nigerian mafia have been arrested in southern Italy after a young sex trafficking survivor spoke out against them.

The men, who were arrested in Palermo and Taranto in the early hours of Tuesday, allegedly belong to the feared Black Axe, a cult-like criminal gang that emerged in the 1970s at the University of Benin, according to police.

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Hong Kong activist who coined banned independence slogan released from prison
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 01:59:08 GMT
From https:

Edward Leung, who came up with aLiberate Hong Kong, revolution of our timesa, has spent four years in prison over 2016 riots

Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan aLiberate Hong Kong, revolution of our timesa has been released from prison and placed under strict supervision after spending four years behind bars.

The prominent independence activist said in a statement posted on his Facebook page a hours after his reported release at about 3am on Wednesday a that he was back with his family.

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Millionaires call on governments worldwide to atax us nowa
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 00:01:05 GMT
From https:

Group of 102 wealthy people say tax would help tackle gulf between rich and poor

More than 100 members of the global super-rich called on Wednesday for governments around the world to atax us nowa to help pay for the pandemic response and tackle the gulf between rich and poor.

The group of 102 millionaires and billionaires, including Disney heiress Abigail Disney, said the current tax system is rigged in their favour and needs to be rewritten to make taxation fairer for hard-working people and restore trust in politics.

Pay for the Health and Social Care Levy twice over every year a eliminating the need to raise national insurance on working people.

Cover the salaries of an additional 50,000 new nurses.

Pay for the permanent increase of universal credit.

Build 35,000 affordable houses and retrofit the UKas draughtiest homes to reduce the cost of energy bills and help fight the climate crisis.

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On the frontline of the cost of living crisis
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 03:00:08 GMT
From https:

Households across the UK will see rising prices and stalling wages strain their budgets in the year ahead, money and consumer editor Hilary Osborne reports. Some families are already feeling the pinch

Itas being called athe year of the squeezea: thanks to stagnating wages, rising costs of consumer goods, and increases in energy tariffs, plus changes in government measures, the cost of living is set to increase sharply in 2022. aThe months ahead will not be easy for households who see their wages fall back as energy bills and taxes rise,a a recent report from the thinktank Resolution concluded.

aIn the time that Iave been writing about money a which is two decades, almost a itas a year like no other,a Hilary Osborne, the Guardianas money and consumer editor, tells Nosheen Iqbal. She says the price of everything a from food and clothes, to housing and transportation, and heating and energy a is going up this year. At the same time, the end of the APS20 a week of the universal credit uplift and a 1.25% increase in national insurance will only add more pressure to strained budgets.

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Stars including Jay-Z call for end to use of rap lyrics as criminal evidence
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:09:35 GMT
From https:

Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland and more sign letter supporting proposed change in New York state law

Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland and Killer Mike are among the star names arguing for a change in New York law that would prevent rap lyrics being used as evidence in criminal trials.

The vocalists, joined by Fat Joe, Yo Gotti, Robin Thicke and more, have signed a letter urging lawmakers in New York state to back the proposed change and uphold freedom of expression.

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A Journal for Jordan review a bland military romance scuppers Denzel Washington
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

Directed by Washington, this story based on a reporteras memoir about her soldier husband and their son fails to find a compelling focus

Director Denzel Washington and his stars do their best with this bland, shallow and awkwardly structured film. Itas a romantic drama based on the bestselling 2008 memoir from publisher and former New York Times reporter Dana Canedy, about the journal that her soldier husband Charles Monroe King wrote for their infant son Jordan just before Charlesas death in Iraq a telling Jordan how to respect women, himself and his country.

ChantA(c) Adams plays Canedy, a young New York journalist in the 90s who falls hard for Charles (Michael B Jordan): a sweet, idealistic guy in the US army who has no desire for her to abandon her career for him. So they are apart a lot when he is training, and then, tragically, seeing action in the Middle East. The narrative jolts episodically back and forth between the early days of their relationship, their happiness living together and her grim and lonely widowhood and single-motherhood in which she has some supportive female friends and the regulation Gay Male Friend (very similar to the one in The Devil Wears Prada). There is a particularly jarring moment when Dana reacts to the breaking story of 9/11 in the New York Times newsroom and then, before she or we have absorbed the horror of that, the story unsatisfyingly shifts to her life much later, an entirely different situation.

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Youare on! The understudies who saved Christmas as Omicron raged
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:04 GMT
From https:

As Covid hit casts, understudies suddenly found themselves needed everywhere a with little warning. We meet these unsung heroes, including a Beanstalk Jack who took on three other last-minute roles

aMy initial reaction,a says Greg Arundell, with a laugh, awas no.a The actor had been playing Jacob Marley, the deceased partner of Ebenezer Scrooge, in a production of A Christmas Carol at Beaulieu Abbey. Then several of the cast, including Scrooge himself, came down with Covid. Director Abbey Wright pulled Arundell aside and asked him to step up and play the great festive miser.

In preparation for anything going wrong, the entire cast already had roles they were ready to cover. But Scrooge was not one of Arundellas. aI hadnat learned it!a he says. aIt wasnat on my understudy plan.a However, persuaded to try out some scenes, he realised he didnat need to look at the script very much. aBecause Iad watched the show so many times, it had made its way into my brain.a

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English National Ballet: Raymonda review a a bold, lavish refit of the Petipa classic
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:06:14 GMT
From https:

Coliseum, London
Even if the drama disappoints in parts, the music and dancing in Tamara Rojoas brave, inventive take on the 19th-century, will-she-wonat-she love story is a delight

Itas common enough in theatre and opera to preserve a classic text and entirely reconceive its production; less so in ballet. English National Ballet director Tamara Rojo has excellent reasons for a new take on Marius Petipaas 19th-century Raymonda, an orientalist crusader story of a virtuous maid, noble knight and evil Saracen. She shifts the action to the Crimean war, where a young Englishwoman has followed her soldier fiance, and discovers a sense of vocation in nursing. It sounds like a canny move, setting the scene for a Victorian costume drama about a womanas choices, inspired by the spirit of national treasure Florence Nightingale a perfect BBC primetime material.

Of course, score, sets, style, roles and steps had to be reworked to fit
the rethink, but never mind purism: does it work?

In parts, but not as a whole. The highlight is Raymondaas dream scene.
It harnesses the essence of balletic magic a a stage flooded with
moonlight and dancers in gauzy white a but peoples this traditionally
female realm with both men and women, their ordered ranks, crossing runs
and sighing spirals engendering an almost spiritual sense of the tender
with the wounded. You believe that in nursing, Raymonda really has seen
a higher purpose.

But nursing, and indeed the war itself, are marginal to the ballet a
sometimes literally, as when bouncy soldiers and smiley wenches hog the
stage while casualties and carers remain discreetly on the sidelines.
True, the figure of Sister Clemence (Precious Adams) is an intermittent
call to conscience, but Raymonda (Shiori Kase) is more exercised by
another dilemma: should she choose good English soldier John de Bryan
(Isaac HernA!ndez) a husband material, basically a or flashy Turkish
ambassador Abdur Rahman (Jeffrey Cirio)?

Raymonda is at the London Coliseum until 23 January

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The Social Lives of Animals by Ashley Ward review a be more bat
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:00:09 GMT
From https:

From to self-isolating bees to bonding baboons, lessons on cooperation from the animal world

Vampire bats ahave each otheras backsa, according to one of the extraordinary stories in this fascinating book. Should one bat be hungry, a roost mate will regurgitate a nutritious meal of semi-digested blood to help it live to bite another day. In a similar display of apparent altruism, a bee with a parasite will isolate itself rather than infect the rest of the colony a a Captain Oates-like sacrifice on the beeas part. And, say what you like about rats; in experiments they will open a door to let a cold, wet stranger into their cosy nests.

aWe can trace direct and important parallels between our own societies and those of the animals with whom we share the planet,a writes Ashley Ward, a professor in animal behaviour. aBy understanding animals on their own terms, we can understand ourselves so much the better.a Actually, he draws very few explicit connections between animal behaviour and our own, and is cautious about ascribing emotions or motivations to the creatures he studies a even in tear-jerking anecdotes about how elephants and wolves appear to mourn. But itas hard not to take from some of his stories the idea that humans could learn a lot from social animals, for all our massive brains and our ability to pass knowledge down generations. aOur instinct for co-operation has provided the foundation for human civilisation,a he points out. We need that now more than ever.

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Can a blockbuster still win big at the Oscars?
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:11:05 GMT
From https:

Sonyas bullish FYC campaign for smash hit Spider-Man: No Way Home has reignited a debate over what kind of film the Academy should be rewarding

Nobody was talking much about Oscars when Spider-Man: No Way Home was released in cinemas last month, but it was easy enough to see that they soon would be. The film swung onto screens as a pre-ordained saviour of cinema, the hopes of an industry pinned on its well-worn spandex bodysuit. As soon as the film delivered the gargantuan box-office receipts that were fully expected of it, its handlers could go about requesting a non-financial reward for their efforts.

By the end of December, the filmas formal Oscar campaign for best picture had been launched, while a feature in trade outlet the Hollywood Reporter gave the producers a generous platform to insist on their worthiness. Marvel Studiosa president, Kevin Feige, made his case on populist grounds, stating his hope that the Academy awill think about the artistry that goes into storytelling that connects with a wide range of people on a very emotional levela, and adding that the publicas stand-and-cheer response to the film is athe sort of thing the Academy was founded, back in the day, to recognizea. Sony Picturesa chair, Tom Rothman, meanwhile, argued for No Way Home as the model of aquality commercialitya that athe Academy needs to stay connected toa. His self-pitying clincher: aWe have to overcome, weirdly, the prejudice against the fact that itas a big hit.a

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A moment that changed me: water flowed into our boat a and my parents were at a total loss
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:00:06 GMT
From https:

On an ordinary trip out in my fatheras boat, we began taking in water. For once my mother could not comfort me and it felt as if lifeas invisible chaos had become clear


It wasnat something you would think of as particularly grand a a white boat, the shape of an iron with a stripe down it, maybe a foot or two larger than an estate car. Named after my mother, it lived in a sort of car park for boats, where it rested high up on a trailer and a tractor would come to take it to the shore. A couple of checks were performed a the battery, maybe; something around the engine; a rubber bung that went in the drain in the back of the boat to stop water coming in. My parents didnat often go out on the water together; perhaps the day Iam remembering was why.

The boat was my fatheras thing, really. He came from a family who built planes, raced motorcycles and sailed ships. At one point, before a fast house move consigned them to a yellow skip, our garage had the kinds of tools to maintain a yacht with: clonky wooden planes and sharp-angled items for working metal. Honestly, I donat know what these things were for: they seemed ageless to me when I was a child, and full of purpose a the implements that carved Stonehenge.

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New York attorney general alleges Trump firm misled banks and tax officials
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:34:50 GMT
From https:

Court filing says investigators are seeking to question Donald Trump and his two eldest children

The New York attorney generalas office has told a court that its investigators have uncovered evidence that the former US president Donald Trumpas company used afraudulent or misleadinga asset valuations to get loans and tax benefits.

The court filing late on Tuesday said state authorities had not yet decided whether to bring a civil lawsuit in connection with the allegations, but that investigators needed to question Trump and his two eldest children as part of their inquiries.

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First aid shipments leave for Tonga, amid fears aid workers could bring atsunami of Covida
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 04:13:00 GMT
From https:

Australia and New Zealand dispatch naval vessels carrying material to help provide temporary shelter and clean drinking water after volcanic eruption

Australia and New Zealand have started to dispatch aid to Tonga, amid fears that relief workers could bring a atsunami of Covida cases to the Pacific Island nation that has so far recorded just one case of the virus.

New Zealand has dispatched two naval vessels with relief supplies onboard. Defence minister Peeni Henare said they were expected to arrive in four days, though could arrive as soon as Friday if the weather holds.

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AndrA(c) Leon Talley, influential fashion journalist, dies aged 73
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 05:49:23 GMT
From https:

The former editor-at-large of Vogue was famous for his big personality and as a champion of Black designers and models

AndrA(c) Leon Talley, the influential fashion journalist and former editor-at-large of US Vogue under Anna Wintour, has died at the age of 73.

TMZ reported that Talley had passed away on Tuesday at a New York hospital, of an unknown illness. His death was later confirmed by his literary agent, David Vigliano.

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Former NY Post editor sues News Corp and Col Allan, alleging sexual harassment
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 05:26:03 GMT
From https:

According to a complaint filed in a New York federal court, Michelle Gotthelf alleges former editor-in-chief Col Allan sexually harassed and verbally abused her

Former senior New York Post journalist Michelle Gotthelf has launched legal action accusing the tabloidas longtime editor-in-chief, Col Allan, of sexually harassing and verbally abusing her, including propositioning her for sex.

In a complaint filed in the US federal court system on Tuesday, Gotthelf accused the Postas owner, News Corp, Allan and the paperas current editor-in-chief, Keith Poole, of breaching New York employment law by discriminating against her on the basis of her sex and retaliating against her when she complained.

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Protesting Winter Olympics athletes aface punishmenta, suggests Beijing official
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:42:00 GMT
From https:

Organising committee official warns against aany behaviour or speech that is against the Olympic spirita

Any athlete behaviour that is against the Olympic spirit or Chinese rules or laws will be subject to acertain punishmenta, a Beijing 2022 official has said in response to a question about the possibility of athlete protests at next monthas Winter Games.

It comes shortly after human rights advocates told athletes they were better off staying silent for the duration of the Games and amid concerns over the online security of attendeesa data contained in a mandatory phone app.

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US and Russia to hold talks on Ukraine in potential sign adiplomacy is not deada
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 00:43:34 GMT
From https:

US secretary of state Tony Blinken to meet with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov amid fears of Russian attack on Ukraine

The US and Russian foreign ministers will hold talks in Geneva on Friday in a development that a US official said suggested that aperhaps diplomacy is not deada in the efforts to fend off a new Russian attack on Ukraine.

With the White House warning that such an attack could come aat any timea, the US secretary of state, Tony Blinken, will fly to Kyiv on Wednesday and Berlin on Thursday to consult with the Ukrainian government and European allies before the meeting the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov. It comes as Nato also offered Russia a fresh round of talks.

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Hong Kong activist who coined banned independence slogan released from prison
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 01:59:08 GMT
From https:

Edward Leung, who came up with aLiberate Hong Kong, revolution of our timesa, has spent four years in prison over 2016 riots

Hong Kong activist Edward Leung, who coined the now-banned slogan aLiberate Hong Kong, revolution of our timesa has been released from prison and placed under strict supervision after spending four years behind bars.

The prominent independence activist said in a statement posted on his Facebook page a hours after his reported release at about 3am on Wednesday a that he was back with his family.

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Stars including Jay-Z call for end to use of rap lyrics as criminal evidence
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:09:35 GMT
From https:

Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland and more sign letter supporting proposed change in New York state law

Jay-Z, Meek Mill, Kelly Rowland and Killer Mike are among the star names arguing for a change in New York law that would prevent rap lyrics being used as evidence in criminal trials.

The vocalists, joined by Fat Joe, Yo Gotti, Robin Thicke and more, have signed a letter urging lawmakers in New York state to back the proposed change and uphold freedom of expression.

Continue reading...


Winter gas bill from hell: Oklahomans face paying $1.4bn over snowstorm
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:00:09 GMT
From https:

Customers saddled with paying 600 times the usual price for energy as regulators are accused of being too close to the industry they monitor

When Neil Crittenden heard that an extreme winter storm was about to hit Oklahoma last winter, he did what officials advised him to do and kept his heat on and water running so that his pipes wouldnat freeze. The 40-year-old Oklahoma City resident even used hair dryers to keep them thawed.

What Crittenden didnat know at the time was that the energy he used was going to cost him significantly. As winter storm Uri swept across the south central US last February, utilities that werenat prepared scrambled. The storm caused blackouts in several states and resulted in the deaths of at least 223 people.

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aWe have to growa: Alabama food bank struggles amid supply crisis and pandemic
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:00:10 GMT
From https:

In the last year, the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, a neighborhood lifeline, has faced steep odds amid mounting supply chain problems and rising prices

There was purposeful work being done inside the expansive food bank warehouse, with Michael Jacksonas Billie Jean blasting from a small stereo near the loading dock to help spur the groups of volunteers inside the 60,000-sq-ft facility.

Almost two years into the coronavirus pandemic, and now with inflation at a 40-year high, a typical day at the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama (CFBCA) reveals an abundance of activity and cheer belying the steep odds these neighborhood lifelines face.

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Is midnight upon us? Doomsday Clock panel to set risk of global catastrophe
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to unveil its measure of how close human civilisation is to the edge of extinction

On 24 October 1962, an American nuclear chemist, Harrison Brown, started to pen a guest editorial for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just as the Cuban missile crisis reached its climax.

aI am writing on a plane en route from Los Angeles to Washington and for all I know this editorial a| may never be published,a Brown said. aNever in history have people and nations been so close to death and destruction on such a vast scale. Midnight is upon us.a

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Biden pledged media reset after Trump aA so why so few press conferences?
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:06 GMT
From https:

The president has none of Trumpas hostility to the press but frustration is growing over a lack of engagement with reporters

When Joe Biden finished delivering a televised update on the administrationas coronavirus response last week, aides began to usher the press towards the exit as reporters shouted questions. Biden declined to answer.

aFolks, weall talk about that later,a he said. Then came a question from NBCaS Kelly OaDonnell he couldnat ignore: aMaybe a press conference soon, Mr President? We would look forward to that.a

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aIn Kabul thereas no justicea: the female student who fled to Pakistan
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:00:07 GMT
From https:

After the collapse of the Afghan capital, Amina says what followed was worse than she could imagine

Amina* used to work for an NGO in Kabul while studying at university. She was forced to flee to Pakistan with her family once the Taliban took over. She remains trapped and fearful for her and her sistersa future.

I currently live in Pakistan with my family. Before I left Afghanistan, I was working as a programme administrator for an NGO and I also studied business at university. When the Taliban took over, I had no certain future. My education was not clear; my school was closed.

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Boba Fett is dead: how Disney+ ruined Star Warsa coolest character
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:35:42 GMT
From https:

The Book of Boba Fett has resurrected the badass bounty hunter, only to destroy everything that once made him so great. Itas a fate worse than being eaten alive

Boba Fett was definitely dead. We all saw it: a partially blinded Han Solo unknowingly whacked him with a stick in Return of the Jedi, his jetpack malfunctioned, and then he fell into the mouth of a massive sand monster. You could tell by the way it swallowed and belched.

Yet in The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian spin-off series currently streaming on Disney+, weare expected to believe that the iconic bounty hunter (now played by Temuera Morrison) actually survived in the acid-filled belly of the sarlacc, having siphoned oxygen from a stormtrooperas helmet, before burning his way out with the flamethrower on his wrist, then blindly clawing through several metres of sand. Improbable, you might think, but then no one ever really dies in Star Wars. There are action figures and sequels to sell.

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SuperMoustache! Sounds like a job for Venezuelaas socialist superhero
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

A cartoon character smiting imperialist enemies a a dead ringer for President NicolA!s Maduro a has inspired acclaim and derision

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No a itas a Venezuelan propaganda campaign designed to burnish NicolA!s Maduroas strongman credentials with the help of a caped crusader called SuperBigote a or SuperMoustache.

The musclebound cartoon superhero a who bears an unmistakable resemblance to Venezuelaas authoritarian president a has been met with acclaim or derision, depending on which side of the countryas bitter political schism viewers stand.

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Milan menas fashion week AW 22: the shows a in pictures
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:36:39 GMT
From https:

Despite Giorgio Armani cancelling his two shows and a raft of other designers switching to digital, Milan fashion week went ahead with the likes of Prada and D&G opting for high-profile catwalks and models to match

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Millionaires call on governments worldwide to atax us nowa
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 00:01:05 GMT
From https:

Group of 102 wealthy people say tax would help tackle gulf between rich and poor

More than 100 members of the global super-rich called on Wednesday for governments around the world to atax us nowa to help pay for the pandemic response and tackle the gulf between rich and poor.

The group of 102 millionaires and billionaires, including Disney heiress Abigail Disney, said the current tax system is rigged in their favour and needs to be rewritten to make taxation fairer for hard-working people and restore trust in politics.

Pay for the Health and Social Care Levy twice over every year a eliminating the need to raise national insurance on working people.

Cover the salaries of an additional 50,000 new nurses.

Pay for the permanent increase of universal credit.

Build 35,000 affordable houses and retrofit the UKas draughtiest homes to reduce the cost of energy bills and help fight the climate crisis.

Continue reading...


More than 1,200 Oakland students pledge to stay home unless schools improve Covid safety
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:06 GMT
From https:

Students join wave of protests across the country calling for better masking and testing or a return to virtual learning

More than 1,200 students in Oakland, California, have signed a petition saying they would stay home this week unless school administrators provide additional Covid protections, including more N95 masks, weekly testing and better social distancing a or a shift to virtual learning.

On Tuesday, three district campuses were closed because students and teachers, in solidarity, stayed home.

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Covid live: Germany reports record rise of cases; Czech Republic considers mandatory vaccines for key workers
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:30:51 GMT
From https:

Daily rise of more than 100,000 cases seen in Germany for first time; over-60s and key professionals may be targeted by new Czech measures

China has reported its lowest daily count of local Covid infections in two weeks after cities clamped down on high-risk areas, quarantined infections and conducted mass testing on residents.

Mainland China reported a total of 55 domestically transmitted infections for Tuesday, according to data from the national health commission, lower than the 127 recorded a day earlier and marking the fewest since 1 January.

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aItas a war zonea: healthcare workers show signs of stress similar to combat veterans
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

After nearly two years of caring for Covid patients, many providers are leaving the field amid hospital staffing shortages

Almost two years after working in a temporary Covid intensive care unit at the hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Kim Bishop, a critical care nurse, can still remember which patients were in which rooms.

aWhen you walk back on these units, you know which patient survived in which room and which ones didnat,a said Bishop, who still works at the Philadelphia hospital and moves among different units. aI thought we closed that chapter once we closed that unit, but now walking back into it, itas almost like a slap in the face.a

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Papua New Guinea reports first Omicron cases, amid fears over low vaccination rate
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 02:13:24 GMT
From https:

Authorities have called for calm while announcing the first case of the virulent strain of Covid-19

Local authorities in Papua New Guinea are calling for calm, after the country announced its first case of the Omicron variant.

Authorities announced on Tuesday the case was a man who came to Papua New Guinea in December from South Africa, after travelling through London and Hong Kong. He initially tested negative with no symptoms upon arrival in the country.

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My baby screeches like a banshee and my heart melts. What have I become? | Arwa Mahdawi
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:00:06 GMT
From https:

You know that previously sensible friend who now beams every time her perfect child farts? Reader, thatas me

Uh oh, it has happened. I have officially turned into that person. You know who I mean: the adult who seems oblivious to the fact that their screeching infant is not the most adorable thing to crawl the face of this Earth but an out-of-control noise machine. That person is the previously sensible and self-aware friend of yours who beams every time their perfect progeny farts or grunts, and acts like it is the cutest thing they have ever seen. aWhat happened to you?a I used to think, when I was childfree, and hung out with friends who had procreated. aHow do you not realise that your child is sort of annoying? What did parenthood do to your brain?a

I do not have the scientific answers to this but I can say that parenthood has undoubtedly done a number on my own brain. I have 100% been baby-pilled. My eight month old will be screeching like a banshee and, instead of finding it irritating, I will look at her perfect little face and my heart will melt. I find myself googling things such as: if my baby screams a lot at an unusually high decibel level, does it mean that they are gifted? (The jury is out on that but my kid is obviously brilliant).

Arwa Mahdawi is a Guardian columnist

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The Bengals find themselves with an unfamiliar feeling: playoff success
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:00:07 GMT
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The Bengals won their first postseason game in 31 years last weekend. Much of their success is down to a young quarterback-coaching duo

Only one year has passed since Cincinnati Bengals owner Mike Brown felt the need to issue a statement explaining why he was keeping head coach Zac Taylor, whose Bengals had won just six of 32 games in his first two seasons.

Brown, the 86-year-old son of the late legendary Hall of Fame coach and Bengals founder Paul Brown, ended his statement with this kind-of-silly line (which should have been accompanied by the sound of a snarling tiger): aNext year, we will earn our stripes.a

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Rafael Nadal revels in Australian Open return to sweep past Yannick Hanfmann
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 09:12:20 GMT
From https:
  • Spaniard shrugs off troubled 2021 season to reach third round
  • Nadal: aI donat have big pressurea after 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 victory

It was not always clear that Rafael Nadal would make it back to the Australian Open this year, but 20 seasons into his illustrious career, he has developed a knack for blowing past even the most generous expectations.

Nadal is indeed in Melbourne, he has already won five matches in the new year and for the first time in his career he is at a grand slam tournament without either of his greatest rivals, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic. On Wednesday, Nadal returned to Rod Laver Arena and saw off a strong performance by Yannick Hanfmann to win 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 and reach the third round of the Australian Open.

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On the frontline of the cost of living crisis
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 03:00:08 GMT
From https:

Households across the UK will see rising prices and stalling wages strain their budgets in the year ahead, money and consumer editor Hilary Osborne reports. Some families are already feeling the pinch

Itas being called athe year of the squeezea: thanks to stagnating wages, rising costs of consumer goods, and increases in energy tariffs, plus changes in government measures, the cost of living is set to increase sharply in 2022. aThe months ahead will not be easy for households who see their wages fall back as energy bills and taxes rise,a a recent report from the thinktank Resolution concluded.

aIn the time that Iave been writing about money a which is two decades, almost a itas a year like no other,a Hilary Osborne, the Guardianas money and consumer editor, tells Nosheen Iqbal. She says the price of everything a from food and clothes, to housing and transportation, and heating and energy a is going up this year. At the same time, the end of the APS20 a week of the universal credit uplift and a 1.25% increase in national insurance will only add more pressure to strained budgets.

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Can a blockbuster still win big at the Oscars?
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:11:05 GMT
From https:

Sonyas bullish FYC campaign for smash hit Spider-Man: No Way Home has reignited a debate over what kind of film the Academy should be rewarding

Nobody was talking much about Oscars when Spider-Man: No Way Home was released in cinemas last month, but it was easy enough to see that they soon would be. The film swung onto screens as a pre-ordained saviour of cinema, the hopes of an industry pinned on its well-worn spandex bodysuit. As soon as the film delivered the gargantuan box-office receipts that were fully expected of it, its handlers could go about requesting a non-financial reward for their efforts.

By the end of December, the filmas formal Oscar campaign for best picture had been launched, while a feature in trade outlet the Hollywood Reporter gave the producers a generous platform to insist on their worthiness. Marvel Studiosa president, Kevin Feige, made his case on populist grounds, stating his hope that the Academy awill think about the artistry that goes into storytelling that connects with a wide range of people on a very emotional levela, and adding that the publicas stand-and-cheer response to the film is athe sort of thing the Academy was founded, back in the day, to recognizea. Sony Picturesa chair, Tom Rothman, meanwhile, argued for No Way Home as the model of aquality commercialitya that athe Academy needs to stay connected toa. His self-pitying clincher: aWe have to overcome, weirdly, the prejudice against the fact that itas a big hit.a

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A Journal for Jordan review a bland military romance scuppers Denzel Washington
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
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Directed by Washington, this story based on a reporteras memoir about her soldier husband and their son fails to find a compelling focus

Director Denzel Washington and his stars do their best with this bland, shallow and awkwardly structured film. Itas a romantic drama based on the bestselling 2008 memoir from publisher and former New York Times reporter Dana Canedy, about the journal that her soldier husband Charles Monroe King wrote for their infant son Jordan just before Charlesas death in Iraq a telling Jordan how to respect women, himself and his country.

ChantA(c) Adams plays Canedy, a young New York journalist in the 90s who falls hard for Charles (Michael B Jordan): a sweet, idealistic guy in the US army who has no desire for her to abandon her career for him. So they are apart a lot when he is training, and then, tragically, seeing action in the Middle East. The narrative jolts episodically back and forth between the early days of their relationship, their happiness living together and her grim and lonely widowhood and single-motherhood in which she has some supportive female friends and the regulation Gay Male Friend (very similar to the one in The Devil Wears Prada). There is a particularly jarring moment when Dana reacts to the breaking story of 9/11 in the New York Times newsroom and then, before she or we have absorbed the horror of that, the story unsatisfyingly shifts to her life much later, an entirely different situation.

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True blue: how to fall in love with jeans again
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:00:09 GMT
From https:

The tracksuit era is over, and denim is back. But with a dizzying number of styles a and claims of sustainability to wade through a which will you pick?

The tracksuit era began a as every history student will learn from now on a on 11 March 2020, the day that the WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic, and the age of lockdowns commenced. The details of its demise are, as yet, not officially verified a but they say that journalism is the first draft of history, so Iam calling it for 31 October 2021, when the dystopian seaweed-green tracksuits of Squid Game became the go-to Halloween costume.

So now it is time to get back into your jeans. I donat just mean getting them done up, although there is no doubt that may be a little tricky after two turgid years spent feeling dissatisfied with life while in eyeballing distance of the fridge. No, the real challenge is getting your head back into jeans, not your waistline. The most telling marker of the casualisation of our wardrobes is that jeans, which used to be what we wore to dress down, can now feel like too much effort. Itas not that Iam saying our standards have slipped, but a well, actually, that is exactly what Iam saying.

There is nothing more satisfying to reach for in the morning than your favourite denims. Jeans are timeless and democratic, because while silhouettes, colours and washes come and go, everyone who owns a pair of jeans makes them their own. To look at someone who is wearing a pair that they love and that suit them is like looking at the perfect black and white portrait: candid, but flattering.

This yearas Golden Globes ceremony had no red carpet, but it was a fashion moment that has turbocharged the denim revival. Jane Campionas The Power of the Dog, one of the nightas big winners, is set in rural Montana in the 1920s, hinged between the dust-and-horses iconography of the cinematic western tradition and the modernity and raw energy of the 20th century as it begins to roar to top speed. Benedict Cumberbatch as Phil acts out masculine swagger in broken-in jeans with chaps, but it is Kodi Smit-McPhee as Peter who steals the fashion show. Slight and gawky in the stiff new jeans that his mother has bought him so that he will fit in on the ranch, he looks like a boy soldier in new uniform.

In westerns, jeans stand for real-world toughness a resilience, to use the buzzword of the hour a but also for the American dream. The brass rivets that are a feature of every traditional pair glint like the nuggets for which goldrushers once panned the rivers of the western states. Also, jeans represent sex a as they always have and always will. (Think of the album cover of Bruce Springsteenas Born in the USA, with the Bossas jeans-clad back view standing in front of the stripes of the flag.) Resilience, fantasy, adventure and sex appeal: it is little wonder, really, that jeans are a style icon.

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UK inflation rises to highest level in almost 30 years at 5.4%
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 10:50:28 GMT
From https:

Cost of living crisis worsens, piling pressure on Bank of England to raise interest rates again

Britainas cost of living crisis worsened in December after inflation jumped to 5.4% a its highest level in almost 30 years a driven by the higher cost of clothes, food and footwear.

Heaping further pressure on Bank of England policymakers to push up interest rates when they meet next month, the price of furniture and eating out also increased as shortages of staff pushed up wage costs and hold-ups at UK ports hiked the cost of imports.

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Israeli police evict Palestinian family from Sheikh Jarrah home
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 08:01:12 GMT
From https:

Authorities demolish house in East Jerusalem neighbourhood in early morning raid after standoff

Israeli police have evicted a Palestinian family from their home in the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, demolishing the dwelling in a case that has drawn international attention.

The police raid on Wednesday was launched two days after a member of the Salhiya family took to the roof of the house, threatening to blow it up with gas canisters if they were forced out.

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Ancient metal tubes unearthed in 1897 could be oldest surviving drinking straws
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:06 GMT
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Gold and silver tubes, each more than a metre long, were discovered in North Caucasus

A set of ancient gold and silver tubes dating to about 5,500 years ago and unearthed in North Caucasus in Russia could be the worldas oldest surviving drinking straws, experts have claimed.

The eight thin-walled tubes, each more than a metre in length with a narrow perforated tip, were found in the largest of three compartments containing human remains, discovered during the excavation of a mound near Maykop in the summer of 1897.

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Ex GuantA!namo detainee plans legal action to restore British passport
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:00:03 GMT
From https:

Moazzam Beggas application for new passport rejected despite terror prosecution collapsing in 2014

A former GuantA!namo detainee is planning legal action against Priti Patel to try to restore his British passport, which was stripped from him eight years ago after two trips to Syria.

Moazzam Beggas application for a new passport was rejected in September 2021, even though a terror prosecution relating to his time in Syria collapsed in 2014, after which police said they accepted he was innocent.

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Cambodia resumes treason trial of opposition leader Kem Sokha
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 05:45:08 GMT
From https:

Charges widely viewed as politically motivated, with critics saying prime minister Hun Sen has used courts to stifle opponents

Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha has called for treason charges against him to be dropped as his trial resumed after two years of delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The case against the 68-year-old has been widely condemned as politically motivated and has dragged on for years.

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Googleas adragonscalea solar-powered roof signals growing demand for sustainable workspaces
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 11:00:10 GMT
From https:

Tightening regulations and a growing eco-conscious workforce are major factors in heralding green office campuses

Around 40 miles south of San Francisco, three futuristic structures rise from the earth. With sloping roofs clad in thousands of overlapping tiles, the buildings could be mistaken for the worldas most architecturally advanced circus tent.

They are, in fact, part of Googleas new Bay View campus, which is due to welcome employees this year a pandemic allowing a and is situated a few miles east of its existing HQ campus in Mountain View.

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Italian police arrest alleged Black Axe Nigerian mafia members over trafficking
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:30:04 GMT
From https:

Four arrests of cult-like criminal gang members made in southern Italy after Nigerian woman forced into prostitution comes forward

Four alleged members of the Nigerian mafia have been arrested in southern Italy after a young sex trafficking survivor spoke out against them.

The men, who were arrested in Palermo and Taranto in the early hours of Tuesday, allegedly belong to the feared Black Axe, a cult-like criminal gang that emerged in the 1970s at the University of Benin, according to police.

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Cutting the food chain? The controversial plan to turn zooplankton into fish oil
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 06:45:04 GMT
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A budding industry that aims to catch zooplankton for health supplements and fish food has scientists fearing that its effects on marine ecosystems could be devastating

aC/ aItas mind-bogglinga: the hidden cost of our obsession with fish oil pills

A few times a day, off the Faroe Islandsa coast, the crew of the JA!kup Sverri marine survey ship test the water, measuring its salinity, temperature and oxygen at different sea depths. But they also look for something else.

Durita SA,rensen, a laboratory technician, holds up the contents of a special net to demonstrate. If the water is greenish, it contains a lot of phytoplankton, the plants at the base of the oceanic food chain. But if it is red or brown, as in SA,rensenas net, the haul is one rung higher up the ladder: zooplankton. aThis is calanus, or Calanus finmarchicus,a she says, indicating the tiny red creatures. aThis is what they are interested in making fish oil [from] as a food supplement for humans.a

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Black, queer and visible: Ajamuas intimate images a in pictures
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:00:05 GMT
From https:

For three decades, artist and asex activista Ajamu has celebrated the pleasure and eroticism of Black British life. A new book showcases his work

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Spainas festival of Las Luminarias a in pictures
Date: Wed, 19 Jan 2022 07:00:05 GMT
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The Spanish festival of Las Luminarias has been held for the first time since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic

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Man Assaults Corey Katir