The Guardian
The Guardian
Coronavirus live news: Taiwan raises its Covid-19 alert level
Taiwan raises its coronavirus alert level following a surge in new domestic infections 8.14am BST Taiwan has raised its Covid-19 alert level on Saturday for the capital, Taipei, and New Taipei city, bringing in a two-week clampdown on gatherings as well as the closure of many venues as the government has reported 180 new domestic infections.Reuters reports: The new rules will not mean offices, schools or restaurants have to close, but will cause the shutdown of cinemas and other entertainment spots, while limiting family get-togethers to five people indoors and 10 outdoors.For the first time, masks will have to be worn outdoors.Taipei’s government has already ordered bars, nightclubs and similar venues to shut. Related: Taiwan records 180 new cases in island’s worst Covid outbreak of pandemic 8.02am BST Good morning, Tobi Thomas here covering the global coronavirus live blog. If you would like to get in touch with any tips, please do email tobi.thomas@theguardian.com or find me on twitter here. Thanks! Continue reading...
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UK’s top universities fearful of extra student numbers if A-level grades are high
With teacher-assessed grades this summer expected to result in more top marks, universities are worried about space in halls and staffingHeads of some of the UK’s elite universities fear they may be forced to take thousands of extra students they feel they do not have room for this summer, if teacher-assessed A-levels lead to far more 18-year-olds achieving the grades they need to obtain a place.During last summer’s A-level fiasco, when thousands of students had their A-levels marked up at the last minute, some elite universities accepted up to a third more students than planned because so many met their offer grades. This year, teacher-assessed A-levels are widely expected to result in far more students with top grades again, leaving some universities worrying about how they will cope. Continue reading...
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How European women’s football elite sharpened their financial elbows
Chelsea and Barcelona have displayed stellar management and team building, but money has helped tooWhen Chelsea signed the Denmark forward Pernille Harder from Wolfsburg for a record fee early last September, they were not so much parking as amassing their tanks on Lyon’s front lawn.The then all-conquering French side had just won a fifth successive Champions League final but the pictures of Chelsea’s manager, Emma Hayes, and the club’s influential director, Marina Granovskaia, flanking Harder signalled a changing of the guard. Continue reading...
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‘He grabbed the lead and said: give me the dog’: can pet detectives stop the rise in animal theft?
Dogs are more valuable than ever – which is why so many are being snatched. But some owners and pet detectives are fighting backThe village of Partridge Green in West Sussex on a gorgeous spring morning. The early mist has burnt off; a wood pigeon coos; a flurry of pink snow falls from a showy cherry tree; outside the butcher’s, an orderly, socially distanced queue has formed; a chap out for a morning spin motors along the high street in his vintage MG. It is, as my companion, Colin Butcher, says, a scene straight out of Midsomer Murders.There are no murders today in Partridge Green, but it is a crime scene, and the crime is one that appears to be sweeping the nation. Butcher – ex-police (you can tell), then private investigator, now company director and chief investigator of The UK Pet Detectives – is on the case. He steps from his Range Rover wearing a fleece with an official-looking badge and “UKPD” emblazoned across the back; a twist on NYPD, except PD stands for Pet Detective. “I know the impact of seeing that UKPD – it’s such an international sign,” he says later, putting the jacket on before knocking at an address linked to his main suspect. Continue reading...
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FC Andorra: Sarabia and Piqué regroup after Barça woe in the mountains
Eder Sarabia and Gerard Piqué have FC Andorra moving up as they look to move on from one of Barcelona’s worst nightsOn a cold, wet Sunday night in a valley some way up the Andorran Pyrenees, 18km beyond the Spanish border and somewhere above the clouds, the linesman turns towards the bench and delivers a warning. Behind him the manager of the home team is on his feet, pacing and shouting. “Eder,” the linesman says, correctly imagining a long evening already, “we haven’t even been playing six minutes.”There is a smile then and again two hours later, sitting in aportable building at the south end of the pitch where coaching staff and sporting director dissect the match, magnetic players on the whiteboard, flipchart scrawled with the week’s objectives, laptop open. You haven’t changed, then? Eder Sarabia laughs. “Look,” he says, “I live this with passion. And since I came here people have said it’s nice to have someone natural, unafraid to express that, to be themselves.” Continue reading...
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UK rapper Enny: ‘Black women are beautiful. They don’t get told that enough’
Her track Peng Black Girls was a love letter to womanhood, and a huge lockdown hit. Now the rising south-London star is ready for her closeup.Photography by Suki Dhanda. Styling by Barbara Ayozie Fu Safira.In the depths of a bleak Covid winter, very few of us were feeling peng. With Zoom meetings and state-mandated daily walks our only form of socialising, there was little to dress up for, and few opportunities for us to feel beautiful. Related: The Guide: Staying In – sign up for our home entertainment tips Continue reading...
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A starfish is born: hope for key species hit by gruesome disease
US team succeeds in captive breeding of sunflower sea stars and aims to reintroduce them to the wildScientists in a San Juan Island laboratory in Washington state have successfully raised sunflower sea stars, or starfish, in captivity for the first time, in an effort to help save these charismatic ocean creatures from extinction.Sunflower sea stars, whose colours vary widely, can grow as big as a bicycle wheel and have about 20 legs. They were once abundant in coastal waters from Alaska to Mexico, but since 2013, nearly 6 billion of these now critically endangered animals have died from a gruesome wasting disease linked to warming seas. Populations have plummeted by more than 90%. Continue reading...
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Zara’s new makeup line is far from throwaway | Sali Hughes
Zara Beauty is extraordinarily good and follows its own pathI own just four garments from fast-fashion behemoth Zara and felt guilty buying even those. Fairly or not, the Spanish retail chain is judged widely for the environmental impact of its low-cost, trend-driven model. So when the brand told me that a makeup line was in the works, I expected faddy designer dupes with similarly ephemeral appeal, piles of single-use plastic packaging and that same unease at having supported a culture that should be doing considerably better.They agree, it seems. Instead of copying high-end creatives for Zara Beauty, they’ve engaged them in the process. Legendary makeup artist Diane Kendal took on the product development, while renowned aesthete Fabien Baron conceived the lacquered white refillable packaging (yes, almost every product is a buy-once-and-keep-refilling proposition). The resulting line is extraordinarily good and, to my surprise, follows its own path. Continue reading...
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Debenhams bows out after 200 years leaving town centres counting the cost
Venerable department store chain closes its doors as other retailers struggle to survive on the high street Shoppers and staff react to store closuresThere were queues of bargain hunters at the tills at Debenhams in Sheffield but it had the feel of a market hall rather than a department store chain that can trace its roots back more than 240 years.Large areas were roped off with black and yellow tape, the beauty department had been stripped bare with some brand names now obscured by black spray paint, while the lingerie display was little more than four cardboard boxes of bras. Continue reading...
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‘It’s important to build pride’: Coventry looks to future as UK city of culture
Organisers have faced huge challenges in the Covid pandemic, but hope their events can help rejuvenate the arts sectorUnder the colourful kaleidoscope of Coventry’s latest public artwork, Chenine Bhathena reflects on what the next 12 months hold for the city as it begins its year as the UK’s city of culture after a four-month delay due to the pandemic.“The city is transforming around us. I think it will be really important to build pride for people here, and to be able to show off on a national stage, to help people understand the city as it is now,” she said. “After Covid, the city of culture is more important than ever.” Continue reading...
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What links Play Misty For Me with Reservoir Dogs? The Weekend quiz
From the cab rank rule to East 17, test your knowledge with the Weekend quiz1 What is the only mammal wholly covered in scales?2 What began in Thomas Farriner’s bakery?3 Admah, Zeboim and Zoar: which two are missing?4 Which American journalist is buried at the Kremlin Wall?5 Which professionals observe the cab rank rule?6 What lies south of Spain’s La Línea de la Concepción?7 What is indicated by the blue MSC food label?8 Which cult sports series was filmed at Leeds Irish Centre?What links:9 Play Misty For Me; Good Morning, Vietnam; Reservoir Dogs; The Warriors?10 Henrietta Maria and Elizabeth I in the US?11 Laniakea; Perseus-Pisces; Coma; Shapley?12 Idina Menzel; the Beatles; Dean Martin; East 17?13 Beauceron; briard; kangal; komondor; samoyed?14 Velvet Brown and Rachael Blackmore?15 G; c; h; k; F; e? Continue reading...
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Could tapping my chest cure my post-lockdown nerves? | Zoe Williams
I want a quick fix for my anxiety. Will seven seconds of rapid tapping on my meridian points do the trick?Re-entering the world ought to be simple. I’ve missed it. So why do I feel anxious about it? There’s a bar on my road that encapsulates everything I loved about normality: those bench tables for six, perfectly engineered so that no one gets left out; charred meat of indeterminate origin; drinks that could quite easily take an umbrella accessory. But I imagine myself running out of chat, saying “please” when I meant “thank you”, ordering a caipirinha when what I wanted was a mojito. I foresee disappointment from an unknown source. It feels exogenous rather than internal – so I don’t want therapy, I want a quick fix.Enter Rapid Tapping, and one of its pioneers, coach and energy psychologist Poppy Delbridge. It’s a kind of psychological acupressure, also known as EFT (emotional freedom technique) that you do to yourself; huge in LA, unknown (by me, at least) in the UK. Delbridge, who is British, has a very happy face, which is a good sign, like when you meet a nutritionist with lovely skin. Continue reading...
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Booking a holiday outside the UK? Here’s what you need to know
British travellers face challenges this year not only from the Covid crisis, but also the effects of Brexit. Here’s the lowdownHolidaymakers in England, Scotland and Wales have been given the green light for trips abroad. Travel is restricted to a small number of countries but the early signs are that they are proving popular with those desperate for a change of scene – this week Tui announced it would be putting on bigger planes to meet demand for trips to Portugal. Bookings for flights to the island of Madeira rose by 625% straight after the green list of countries was announced, according to the website Skyscanner, while demand for Gibraltar leapt by 335%.For most people, this will be the first trip abroad since the UK’s post-Brexit transition period ended. Here’s our guide to booking a trip in the time of Covid and after the time of the EU. Continue reading...
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Samosas and spicy chickpeas: Will Bowlby’s Indian-inspired picnic recipes
Spice up your picnic with chorizo and potato parcels, crispy chickpeas in a chutney dressing, samosas stuffed with spring veg and a mango lassi cooler to help it all downGujiyas are typically sweet, deep-fried treats from the north of India, and here I’ve made a savoury version using chorizo, inspired by the famous Goan sausage, or choriz, originally brought over by Portuguese. Continue reading...
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Online safety bill ‘will fail to protect millions from cloned websites and ad scams’
Finance experts fear loophole because of UK government’s focus on user-generated contentThe UK government’s online safety bill will “fail to protect millions” by leaving people at risk of falling victim to cloned websites and adverts paid for by fraudsters, experts warned this week.The bill, included in Tuesday’s Queen’s speech, will “lead the way in ensuring internet safety for all”, according to the government. Continue reading...
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Converting shops to flats ‘could lead to low-quality homes’
Adapting commercial property will create new homes, but campaigners voice concerns over privacyNew planning laws to make it easier to turn empty shops into flats could result in poor-quality homes with “absolutely no privacy”, campaigners claim.However, a separate rule change should mean an end to tiny “rabbit hutch” flats – an issue that has been highlighted by Guardian Money on many occasions in recent years. Continue reading...
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From Edward VIII to James Dyson: the yacht that tells a tale of British wealth | Ian Jack
The fortunes of industry and a handful of ultra-rich individuals are woven through the history of the Nahlin In the early years of this century, soon after he began moving production of his bagless vacuum cleaner from Wiltshire to south-east Asia, James Dyson bought a superb yacht. The Nahlin is exemplary in the beauty of its lines and instructive in its history, though how much of this history Dyson understands or relishes is hard to know. Despite spending a fortune (at least £25m) on its restoration, Dyson has never talked publicly about his yacht, no more than he has about his purchase of Singapore’s most expensive flat (£43m) and its sale soon after, at a loss. For a time, a kind of omertà prevailed about the vessel’s ownership among its team of restorers, though to own and care for such an elegant piece of naval architecture would surely be no shame.What Dyson certainly knows is that it was on the Nahlin that King Edward VIII and Mrs Wallis Simpson shed any discretion and “came out” as a couple – a relationship reported across the world, though not at the time in Britain – precipitating the crisis that ended with the king’s abdication a few months later, in December 1936. “The cruise of the Nahlin” became an inevitable chapter in any telling of the event, though how the king came to be aboard such a mysteriously named vessel tended to be overlooked. In fact, the name is said to have Native American origins, and reportedly means “fleet of foot” – the yacht’s figurehead wears a chieftain’s headdress – and the king was aboard because the Foreign Office, worried by social unrest in France, had warned against his original plan to rent a villa there. Continue reading...
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Can ‘Never Trump’ Republicans gain party control – or is it a lost cause?
As Liz Cheney’s defiance turns her into one of the movement’s leaders some insist the party was their home long before Trump while others say it’s time to move onSixteen minutes and out. The purging of Liz Cheney from Republican leadership in the House of Representatives did not even go to a secret ballot. Instead a voice vote was all it took to confirm the party’s capitulation to Donald Trump and his “big lie” about a stolen election.But Cheney went down swinging, vowing to reporters on Capitol Hill: “I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office,” then using a high-profile TV interview to say of would-be challengers for her seat in Wyoming: “Bring it on.” Continue reading...
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‘Debenhams leaves a huge hole’: shoppers and staff react to store closures
The public view on how the demise of the large department stores will affect towns, what went wrong and who was to blameDebenhams bows out after 200 years leaving town centres counting the costDebenhams may have been far from its heyday for some time, but the closure of its large department stores will still hit towns, cities and shopping malls around the country. By Saturday night, more than 160 Debenhams stores will have closed in the past two years, adding to a smaller number of closures by rivals House of Fraser and John Lewis and the collapse of the 22-strong Beales chain.Shoppers and staff told the Guardian how they thought the closures would hit their towns, what went wrong and who was to blame. Continue reading...
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John Burningham’s final picture book is poignant tale of ‘difficult’ dog’s last trip
Air Miles has been illustrated by his wife Helen Oxenbury and finished by Bill Salaman, friend of the author who died in 2019The final picture book from the late, much-loved children’s author John Burningham – in which “difficult dog” Miles goes on one final journey – has been completed by his friend Bill Salaman and illustrated by his wife, Helen Oxenbury.Burningham, who died in 2019 at the age of 82, wrote and illustrated some of the 20th century’s most treasured picture books, from Mr Gumpy’s Outing to Granpa. He was married for more than 50 years to Oxenbury, whose illustrations adorn picture books including We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. Oxenbury said that when Burningham became ill, he asked her to finish the book he was working on, Air Miles, for him. Continue reading...
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Small breweries work flat out for the UK’s grand pub reopening
Return of indoor service on 17 May promises a sorely needed fillip for craft brewers fighting for survival amid Covid crisis Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe beery aroma in the air at the Gipsy Hill brewery in south London grows ever richer as sack after sack of the finest malt empties out into a stainless steel container, ready to be brewed into their flagship Hepcat IPA.About an hour’s drive away, near Esher in Surrey, the small team at the Big Smoke Brew Co are working equally hard on their own leading label, Electric Eye. Continue reading...
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China tornadoes kill 10, injure hundreds
State media says at least six people died in the inland city of Wuhan, where Covid-19 first emerged in late 2019Back-to-back tornadoes killed at least 10 people in central and eastern China and left more than 300 others injured, officials and state media have reported.Six people died in the inland city of Wuhan and four others in the town of Shengze, about 400km (250 miles) east, in Jiangsu province, local government statements said. Continue reading...
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Blind date: ‘He said, “Do you want to get married”’
Katie, 25, branding and innovation consultant, meets Jack, 30, actorWhat were you hoping for?A cross between Tarzan and Louis Theroux. Continue reading...
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TV tonight: Danish noir in Blinded – Those Who Kill
The murder mystery continues as police search for information on a serial killer. Plus: John Lennon – A Life In Ten Pictures. Here’s what to watch this evening Continue reading...
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‘The secret of my identity devastated me’: could official records reveal the truth about my childhood?
I was taken into care when I was just two, but have never known the exact reasons whyIt was in early 2020 that I received the first few fragments of my care records from my local council. They arrived in an email, with a secure link to a server where I could download a pdf of documents that had been collated, redacted and scanned. I often imagine that these documents were sitting in the forgotten basement of some council building in Guildford. Maybe a civil servant had to find a torch and descend a set of concrete steps into the dark, brush the cobwebs away from the cabinet and jimmy it open with a crowbar to undertake the labour of reading, sorting, censoring and digitising each page of information kept about me. If so, they might have been there a while. The collection of documents anatomising my state guardianship spanned more than two decades.Even before I decided to ask for them, I knew that the files would be altered: the Information Governance department at Surrey county council, like all local councils, owes a duty of confidentiality to third parties. I knew that could include members of my biological family, social workers, teachers, foster carers, or foster siblings. I knew that I would be receiving mutated data: bits and pieces of stories, fragments of memories that had been taken apart and put back together. Continue reading...
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Tim Dowling: I’m not shaving off my beard, just cutting a mouth hole
I’m crouched on the wet back step, holding a mirror stolen from the middle one’s bedroomIt is Wednesday afternoon, and I am on the step just outside the open garden door. The weather has been cold and wet all day – rain is still dripping from the trees – but the sun has come out and the air is warming up.Twenty minutes ago: it’s so dark that all the lights are still on in the kitchen, where the oldest one is working and the youngest is dicing onions, while they both listen in silence to an audiobook about the American civil war. Continue reading...
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Stephen Collins on the European Super League – cartoon
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‘I was blown away’: divers haul 200lb of trash from Lake Tahoe in a day
Scuba team launches six-month effort that has already turned up fishing rods, tires and cansScuba divers removed about 200lb of garbage from California’s Lake Tahoe on Friday, as part of a six-month effort to rid the popular lake of fishing rods, tires, aluminum cans, beer bottles and other trash accumulating underwater.The team plans to look for trash along the entire 72 miles (115 km) of shoreline in an endeavor that could be the largest trash cleanup in the lake’s history, said Colin West, a diver and film-maker who founded Clean Up the Lake, the non-profit spearheading the project. Continue reading...
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How to turn excess soft herbs into a lip-smacking, spicy sauce – recipe | Waste not
Mojo verde, a peppery, tangy salsa from the Canary Islands, is the perfect dip for salty patatas arrugadas Green sauce is my go-to recipe for using up soft herbs. Traditional Italian salsa verde is made with parsley, capers, anchovy, garlic, vinegar and olive oil, but there are many variations on the theme, including Argentinian chimichurri, British-style mint sauce and salmoriglio, a southern Italian version made with oregano that is especially good with lamb.Coriander, too, makes all sorts of incredible sauces, among them spicy Arabian zhoug and the insanely tasty Canarian mojo verde, which I learned from Sam and Sam Clark and Marianna Leivaditaki of Moro and Morito in London when I helped set up the inaugural banquets at Wilderness Festival. It also features in their book Moro East, where it’s served with papas arrugadas (or “wrinkly” potatoes), a dish of potatoes cooked in water so salty that, when it evaporates, they end up encrusted in salt. The sweetness of the bell peppers and the acidity of the vinegar in the lip-smacking sauce combine with the salty spuds to create an addictive flavour bomb. Continue reading...
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Israel warplanes target Gaza as army says rockets fired ‘non-stop’ over southern border
Seven Palestinians killed in strike on house in Gaza City as US envoy arrives in Israel as part of mediation effortsIsraeli fighter jets have hit targets in central Gaza the army said on Saturday, after a day of deadly violence rocked the West Bank and unrest persisted inside Israel.Israel’s air force struck several sites, including a house in Gaza City where at least seven Palestinians were killed, according to the Associated Press and local media. Continue reading...
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