The Guardian
The Guardian
The Exorcist: Ellen Burstyn to reprise role in new $400m trilogy
Universal has picked up the rights to an ambitious new continuation of the Oscar-winning horrorUniversal is set to pay $400m for the rights to a new trilogy continuing the story of The Exorcist.The new films will see original star Ellen Burstyn reprise her Oscar-nominated role of Chris MacNeil alongside Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr as a father tracking her down when his daughter is possessed. Continue reading...
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Life expectancy lower for white and mixed ethnic people than Black and Asian groups – study
Findings of Office for National Statistics analysis consistent with previous research say experts People from white and mixed ethnic groups had lower life expectancy compared with Black and Asian groups in England and Wales between 2011 and 2014, according to analysis by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).The study linked 2011 census and death registration data to produce estimates of life expectancy and cause of death by ethnic group. Continue reading...
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Notting Hill carnival launches fund for bands and artists hit by cancelled event
Financial hardship due to Covid pandemic put some performers’ futures in peril, say organisersThe Notting Hill carnival has launched a fund to ensure that it can go ahead next year, after the Covid-19 pandemic forced organisers to cancel the live event in west London for the second year in a row.Organisers said the Carnival Trust Fund would be used to “help support the carnival community”, including some bands and artists that might, without assistance, have had to stop performing. Continue reading...
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Covid cases in US may have been undercounted by 60%, study shows
Number of reported cases ‘represents only a fraction of the estimated total number of infections’After rapid rollout, why has the US vaccine effort stalled?The number of Covid-19 cases across the US may have been undercounted by as much as 60%, researchers at the University of Washington have found. Related: Florida urged to ramp up vaccination effort amid ‘alarming’ Covid rise Continue reading...
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Football’s Olympic status is too much of a joke for it to remain in the Games | Jonathan Liew
Strange mix of development competition and star vehicle leaves public unsure of what it is watchingNine years ago, I had a front-row seat at the Olympic Stadium in London for what would become known as Super Saturday. The ley lines of that evening are now firmly etched into the sporting lore of the UK: the triumphant last-lap surge of Jess Ennis, Mo Farah being physically roared over the line, that chirpy bloke who won the long jump. And yet my strongest and clearest memory of Super Saturday is none of these things.It came about half an hour after Farah crossed the line, with the stadium still wreathed in a shimmering glow somewhere between heat and love. At which point, a member of the crowd shouted out to nobody in particular that 150 miles away in Cardiff, Team GB had just lost to South Korea on penalties in the quarter-finals of the men’s football. As the news filtered around, everybody – from the crowd to the press box to the journalist from L’Equipe sitting next to me – spontaneously burst into laughter. Continue reading...
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Martin Rowson on Boris Johnson’s summer assault – cartoon
Buy a copy of this cartoon from our print shop Continue reading...
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What is behind the latest fall in cases of Covid across the UK?
Confirmed infections have dropped 21.5% week-on-week – though recorded deaths are still on the riseCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIs this how it ends? After an 18-month rollercoaster of soaring and falling cases, and more than 100,000 UK deaths, is the epidemic fizzling out? Has immunity finally got the upper hand, or will the sudden drop in Covid cases prove no more than a brief downturn? There are many moving parts behind the numbers and huge uncertainty over what happens next. Continue reading...
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The Guardian view on the future of high streets: let communities decide | Editorial
Changing rules on commercial-to-residential property conversion will create a developers’ free-for-allOne of the pleasures of post-lockdown life has been the chance to go back to familiar businesses and high street shops, putting some much-needed cash into tills. Though often hit by the long-term shift to online retail – which the pandemic, of course, accelerated – such places continue to knit the social fabric together in vital ways. But despite all the local goodwill and the revival of trade, for some much-loved ports of call it may be a case of too little, too late. According to a review published this month, Britain’s high streets are threatened by a “tsunami of closures”, thanks to the debt taken on by small business owners during the past year-and-a-half.The report concludes that “urgent support is required” if a trail of destruction is not to unfold, when loans are called in and tax breaks end. Unfortunately, the government is about to make matters worse, not better. Next week, Whitehall plans to unleash a developers’ free-for-all that threatens to irrevocably change the character and texture of town centres and high streets across the country. Continue reading...
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The Guardian view on Tunisia’s coup: a spring that turns to winter | Editorial
In 2011 a repressive, authoritarian government collapsed because it proved unable to meet people’s demands. Why would its return solve anything?In 2011 Tunisia was the first Arab nation to topple its dictator, and the only one where genuine democracy survives. But events in the capital, Tunis, suggest that the country is experiencing a counter-revolution. On Sunday the president, Kais Saied, fired the country’s prime minister, dismissed the government and froze parliament. Mr Saied has suspended lawmakers’ parliamentary immunity, a pointed warning to political opponents. It is never a good sign when security forces storm television stations. Demonstrations have broken out – with protesters taking to the streets both in support for the president, and against him. The warmth of the Arab spring has definitely turned into the chill of winter.The opposition – led principally by Ennahda, the moderate Islamist party with the most seats in parliament – called his actions “a coup”. It’s hard to disagree with that description. But many in Tunisia either shrug their shoulders or, even worse, are drawn to demagogues, religious hardliners and those who praise the country’s former dictatorship. The reason that sections of the population are receptive to either apathy or illiberal notions is that freedom and democracy in Tunisia have not delivered political stability and a prosperous economy. Instead corruption, inflation and unemployment persist. For the past few years Tunisians have taken to the streets to express their dissatisfaction, sometimes violently. Continue reading...
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UK monitoring sale of military supplier Ultra to firm backed by US equity
Kwasi Kwarteng has instructed Whitehall officials to keep close tabs on the takeover bid by CobhamThe UK government has signalled that it is monitoring the sale of a key military supplier to a firm backed by US private equity amid concerns over the potential impact on national security.The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, is understood to have instructed Whitehall officials to keep close tabs on the multibillion-pound takeover bid of Ultra Electronics lodged by Cobham, which is owned by the American private equity group Advent. Continue reading...
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Despite UK’s vaccine success, it will take time for consumer habits to return
Heathrow CEO might have been discussing the whole economy when he asked: where is the vaccine dividend?Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMothballed planes and deserted terminals tell their own story. Aviation has been one of the sectors hit hardest by the pandemic and looks like being one of the last to recover. Unless things pick up in the next six months Heathrow will see fewer passengers this year than it did in 2020.It doesn’t come as much of a shock, therefore, to find the chief executive of the airport wondering why recovery has been so slow. And although John Holland-Kaye was talking about his own business, he might as well have been talking about the whole economy when he asked: where is the vaccine dividend? Continue reading...
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Tokyo Olympics 2020: day three – in pictures
The best images from the third day’s action in Tokyo including mountain biking, basketball, diving and hockey Continue reading...
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Pink offers to pay fines for Norwegian women’s beach handball team
European Handball Federation fined players €1,500 for wearing shorts instead of bikini bottomsPop star Pink has offered to pay the “sexist” fines handed out to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team after they refused to wear bikini bottoms while playing.The European Handball Federation, the sport’s governing body, fined the team €1,500 (£1,295) last week for “improper clothing” at the European Beach Handball Championships. Continue reading...
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Russia blocks access to websites of Alexei Navalny and close allies
Action comes as Kremlin increases pressure on opponents and critics ahead of parliamentary electionsRussian authorities have restricted access to Alexei Navalny’s website and those of dozens of his close allies, the imprisoned opposition leader’s team said on Monday.The action came as the government increased pressure on opposition supporters, independent journalists and human rights activists ahead of the country’s parliamentary election. The September vote is widely seen as an important part of Vladimir Putin’s efforts to cement his rule before a 2024 presidential election. Continue reading...
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Three golds and two silvers for Team GB on ‘Magic Monday’ at Tokyo Olympics
Swimmer Adam Peaty, divers Tom Daley and Matty Lee and mountain biker Tom Pidcock all won goldLive updates from Tokyo 2020Britain’s Olympians soared and awed on a Magic Monday in Tokyo, winning three golds in just five hours.Adam Peaty, Team GB’s banker in these Olympics, retained his 100m breaststroke title in the small hours of the UK morning, becoming the first British swimmer to defend an Olympic title. And as diver Tom Daley wept tears of joy on the podium, his gold medal ambitions – alongside Matty Lee – finally realised after 13 years, and Tom Pidcock claimed surprise mountain bike glory, a smouldering opening couple of days for Team GB suddenly caught fire on day three. Continue reading...
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UK Covid cases fall for sixth day in a row, but hospital numbers rise
Daily number of lab-confirmed infections reported as 24,950, the lowest in more than three weeksCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageCoronavirus infections in the UK have fallen for the sixth consecutive day, with 24,950 lab-confirmed cases reported. It is the lowest daily figure in more than three weeks.However, despite Monday’s fall in daily infections, hospital admission and occupancy rates have risen over the last week, with the number of Covid-19 patients in hospital in England passing 5,000 for the first time since mid-March. Continue reading...
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Tears on Tokyo podium reflect Tom Daley’s long march to Olympic glory | Donald McRae
All the hope, disappointment, despair and joy the British diver had endured these past 13 years were cleansed with Tokyo goldTwo teardrops stood still for a moment and glistened on Tom Daley’s skin soon after he and Matty Lee had draped gold medals around each other’s necks. Earlier on Monday afternoon they had won the synchronised 10-metre platform amid great drama and emotion in Tokyo. A single teardrop slipped from Daley’s left eye. It stopped millimetres from the black Team GB mask covering his face. A little higher up, another solitary teardrop nestled just below the lower lid of his right eye. It was as if even his tears had paused to remember everything Daley had been through to reach this pinnacle of achievement. Related: Tom Daley ‘incredibly proud to say I am gay and an Olympic champion’ Continue reading...
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Second dispersal order in place after mass brawl in Liverpool
Two teenagers released from hospital after being stabbed during incident on city’s waterfrontPolice in Liverpool have increased patrols and imposed a second dispersal order on the city’s waterfront after a mass brawl involving up to 100 youths over the weekend.Two teenage boys were stabbed in the buttocks in the fight, which broke out in Liverpool’s Keel Wharf at 9.15pm on Friday. The pair were treated in Alder Hey children’s hospital and have since been discharged. Continue reading...
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The generations are at war, we keep being told. So what happened at my big family reunion? | Zoe Williams
This year, our annual get-together was never going to be a ‘normal’ one. Children were self-isolating and the thirtysomethings were waiting for PCR results – but was there really intergenerational strife over our attitudes to Covid?The theological definition of a just war is, in part, that it has to be winnable. It’s interesting to consider generational warfare in that light: what would it look like if one side won? Would young people all simply be required to pipe down? Would it be enough if all old people downsized at once? Luckily, the clash between young and old is a political and media confection rather than a Thing.It’s political in the sense that, every now and again, an idea will come along that so clearly puts the interests of one demographic over another that it simply sticks in the throat, and even middle-aged people can’t swallow it – paying for social care by raising national insurance, for instance. It doesn’t even warrant any detailed examination of the taxation system and social care crisis; a simple “absolutely no way” will do. Continue reading...
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Selfridges to be auctioned off with £4bn starting price
Assets up for grabs include Selfridges’ four stores in the UK, Brown Thomas and Arnotts in Ireland and De Bijenkorf in the NetherlandsThe family owners of Selfridges are kicking off an auction for the luxury department store, and have put a £4bn price tag on the business.The Weston family, one of Canada’s richest families, first admitted that it might consider a sale of its European department store assets last month after an approach from a mystery buyer. Continue reading...
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Olympic viewers urged to be patient as BBC forced to juggle live streams
Frustration as reduced broadcasting rights limit corporation’s coverage to only two events at one timeFans missing live Tokyo Olympic coverage of their favourite sports are urged to be patient as the BBC juggles live streams in its most challenging games ever due to Covid and reduced broadcasting rights.The corporation’s head of major sport events, Ron Chakraborty, acknowledged viewer frustration that the BBC can only offer two live events at one time – through one television channel and on iPlayer red button – after the International Olympic Committee sold European television rights to pay-TV company Discovery in 2015. Continue reading...
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Isla Dewar obituary
Novelist who brought out the humour in the everyday triumphs and failures of her heroinesWhen the Scottish author Isla Dewar, who has died aged 74 after a heart attack, completed her first novel, Keeping Up With Magda, she rather doubted that the stories she had started transferring from her head to paper would go much further. Nonetheless, within a fortnight a publisher took up her tale of intrigue centred on a cafe in a Scottish fishing village, and after its publication in 1995 it was longlisted for the Orange prize. Her next book, Women Talking Dirty (1996), caught the attention of Elton John and David Furnish, who bought the rights for Rocket Pictures. Two years after it was published Dewar was transported from enjoyable semi-isolation in her seaside home on the East Neuk of Fife to the couple’s mansion in Windsor to write the screenplay. Taking William Goldman’s Adventures in the Screen Trade as a guide, she launched into 16-hour days of writing and script meetings, and used the pool to unwind. Continue reading...
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Two teenage boys guilty of murder of Oliver Stephens, 13
Two fourteen-year-olds convicted of killing Olly, who was stabbed to death in park in ReadingTwo 14-year-old boys have been found guilty of murdering a teenage boy who was “lured” to a park in Reading and fatally stabbed.Oliver Stephens, 13, known as Olly, was killed at Bugs Bottom field in Emmer Green, Reading in Berkshire, on 3 January. Continue reading...
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Pancho Villa, my grandmother and the border’s revolutionary history
Stories of the Mexican revolutionary, preserved in family lore, are unlikely to feature in Texas’s whitewashed 1836 ProjectMy maternal grandmother was a head nurse in a hospital in the northern state of Chihuahua during the Mexican Revolution – an epic event that affected both sides of the border and caused my family to permanently move to the United States to escape the violence.Grandmother worked at the hospital, family lore goes, when the infamous general Pancho Villa seized the facility and left his wounded troops to the hospital’s care. Mama, as we called her, took it upon herself to watch out for the female nurses amid all the soldiers, some of whom made unwanted sexual advances to them. She reported them to Villa’s officers. That’s when Villa showed up and asked Mama to point out the offending soldiers. When she did, he drew his pistol and summarily executed the men, astonishing the witnesses and delivering the message to his army that this behavior would not be tolerated. Continue reading...
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Billionaire tycoon named as Lebanese PM as economic crisis bites
Protesters wanted someone from outside the elite, but parliament went for Najib Miqati, who has led the country twice beforeAfter a year-long standoff, Lebanon has named a new prime minister who its feuding factions hope can ward off a total economic collapse and save an estimated 2 million people from the brink of poverty.Protesters had demanded the selection of a figure removed from the political elite, but the Lebanese parliament instead named a billionaire tycoon, Najib Miqati, who had led the country twice before, with little success, and was accused by a state prosecutor in 2019 of embezzlement – a charge he denies and has described as politically motivated. Continue reading...
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Liverpool’s heritage has been vandalised for years | Letters
Cllr Phil Davis says the loss of Unesco world heritage status is a timely reminder of the responsibilities of local and central government, while Christopher Coppock says the city burghers have only themselves to blame. Plus letters from Phil de Souza and David DearAs someone who played a small part in promoting Liverpool’s case for world heritage status in the early 2000s, I was saddened to see the loss of the Unesco designation (Unesco strips Liverpool of its world heritage status). It is, nevertheless, a timely reminder of the responsibilities of local and central government to guard and conserve both the built heritage that merits this highest of distinctions and, equally importantly, its distinctive setting.The pictures you published illustrate the failure to do so in Liverpool’s Victorian docks. The right sort of regeneration is not in conflict with heritage – quite the opposite. Unfortunately, Liverpool’s planning committee permitted a number of out-of-scale developments unsympathetic to the character of the docks. They were surely warned of the potential consequences. A fresh visit to the city by Unesco would simply confirm the decline in the unique character of the docks in the last 10 years. Continue reading...
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Keeping loved ones safe is not ‘cowering’, Sajid Javid | Letter
If anyone is cowering, it is this government when faced with criticism, says Sue HardmanHow utterly incomprehensible that the health secretary should tell us not to cower from Covid, despite his later apology (Sajid Javid apologises for saying it was time to stop ‘cowering’ from Covid). But why am I not surprised?I was shielding due to severe asthma that put me in the clinically extremely vulnerable group. Those of us shielding were told we were protecting ourselves and the NHS. How does Sajid Javid have the temerity to use the word “cower” less than a week after the word “cautious” was used in press conferences? Continue reading...
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The Green Knight review: Dev Patel takes a magical and masterly quest
David Lowery’s complex, visually sumptuous and uncommercial tale of Arthurian legend revels in upending expectationsEqual parts folk, prog rock and metal, The Green Knight takes place at the inflection point when one version of the old world was supplanted by the next. In David Lowery’s liberty-taking interpretation of the character’s 14th-century origin poem, the headstrong yet not-quite-valiant Sir Gawain (Dev Patel, superb) traverses an England caught between the mystical pagan religions and the nascent Christianity soon to change the face of the nation.At first, subtler touches denote the friction between the two, as in the cross-cutting juxtaposition of a supernatural blood-and-bone ritual against the quasi-biblical imagery of an ageing Arthur’s court. (The king’s crown doesn’t take the shape of a golden disc framing his head for nothing.) By the time near the third act that Lowery reveals his key reference point to be Martin Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ, another mounting of myth invested in mortal frailty and unconcerned with textual fidelity, it’s apparent that the maturation of one man is meant to coincide with that of an entire society. Continue reading...
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Counting the cost of wild swimming | Letter
Kika Everington says peaceful havens for wildlife are being disturbed by the latest fashionable activityHazy phrases like “access to our blue spaces” hide the reality of the destructive impact on river wildlife caused by the popularity of wild swimming (Education calls grow after week of tragedies in England’s waters). My nearest river used to be a peaceful haven for wildlife. Its unofficial use last year as a “river beach” disturbed breeding kingfishers, causing them to abandon their nests. Wild swimming is the latest fashionable activity to prioritise the desires of human beings over other species’ right to survive.Kika EveringtonStratford, London• Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication. Continue reading...
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‘Brutal but effective’: lottery funding scores 100 golds for Team GB
Numbers 101 and 102 soon follow, underlining huge change in fortunes since single gold in 1996As the Tokyo Olympics gather pace, Britons can expect further moments of glory and tragedy, triumph and heartache to match those from the opening days of the Games. But whatever drama unfurls on their screens they can, and will, expect medals.Few are likely to, but perhaps British sports fans should pause for a moment and reflect on just how spoiled they are. Those with longer memories will remember the dull days of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, when Great Britain won one gold and only 15 medals overall, finishing 36th in the medal table. Continue reading...
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