Australian leader seeks conciliation in dispute with China

A diplomatic war of words between Australia and China over a graphic tweet seems to finally cool as Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison struck a much more conciliatory tone
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EXPLAINER: Why it's hard to make vaccines and boost supplies
With demand for COVID-19 vaccines outpacing the world's supplies, a frustrated public and policymakers want to know: How can we get a lot more, fast
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Hot property: Jamie Demetriou on the rise of Stath Lets Flats
In the first of a series exploring the stage origins of hit comedies, the actor remembers creating the delusional letting agent at Bristol University“For a lot of series one, I don’t like Stath as a character,” says Jamie Demetriou, the comedian, actor and writer behind triple Bafta-winning sitcom Stath Lets Flats. “His behaviour is terrible. Even with a character you dislike, you should sympathise. I had to remember what I’d learned on stage – when characters exuded hope or delusional self-belief, the audience were endeared to them.”When we speak, Demetriou is in LA filming The Afterparty, a new show with Tiffany Haddish. It all sounds far from the basements and pubs of UK live comedy, but that’s where Demetriou started out and where the character of chaotic Greek-Cypriot letting agent Stath, who is set to return in a third series for Channel 4, first began to take shape. Continue reading...
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The Great British Art Tour: time at last to pay Anna Bilinska proper attention
With public art collections closed we are bringing the art to you, exploring highlights from across the country in partnership with Art UK. Today’s pick: Bath’s Anna Bilinska by Emmeline DeaneThis enigmatic portrait of Anna Bilinska in mourning is one of the best-loved exhibits at Bath’s Victoria Art Gallery, despite its sombre subject matter and monochrome palette. It is an arresting painting that quietly demands attention; the sitter’s aura of profound melancholy is both moving and intriguing.Bilinska was a talented Polish artist whose father had recently died when the portrait was painted in 1886. Dressed in deep mourning, she holds what might be a black feather on her lap. She met the British artist Emmeline Deane in Paris when they were both training at the celebrated Académie Julian. This was one of the few art schools in Europe that was open to female students in the 19th century. We don’t know anything about their relationship, but given the compassion evident in this painting, it’s fair to assume that artist and sitter were close. Bilinska studied and taught at the forward-thinking and innovative Parisian art school. She had ambitions to open a similar school for women in Poland, but died tragically young in 1893 from a heart condition, aged 36. Continue reading...
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Cash injection: could we cure all disease with a trillion dollars?
Could such a large amount of money end the Covid pandemic? Eradicate disease? Provide universal healthcare and fund vaccine research?You know that daydream where you suddenly come into a vast fortune? You could buy a castle or a tropical island hideaway, help out all your friends, do a bit of good in the world. But what if it was a truly incredible sum? What if you had $1tn to spend, and a year to do it? And what if the rules of the game were that you had to do it for the world – make some real difference to people’s lives, or to the health of the planet, or to the advancement of science.A trillion dollars – that’s one thousand billion dollars – is at once an absurdly huge amount of money, and not that much in the scheme of things. It is, give or take, 1% of world GDP. It’s what the US spends every year and a half on the military. It is an amount that can be quite easily rustled up through the smoke and mirrors of quantitative easing, which is officially the mass purchase of government bonds, but which looks suspiciously like the spontaneous creation of money. After the 2008 financial crash, more than $4.5tn was quantitatively eased in the US alone. All the other major economies made their own money in this ghostly way. Continue reading...
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Beverley Bryan: the British Black Panther who inspired a generation of women
After her friend Olive Morris was assaulted by police in 1969, Bryan joined her in the civil rights group. Then she decolonised her classroom – and contributed to a groundbreaking bookIn the mid-60s, Beverley Bryan was a prefect at Lavender Hill secondary modern in south London. One of her responsibilities was to stand at the school gates and scribble down the name of any student who was late. One such girl was Olive Morris, who would become one of the country’s leading anti-racism activists. Bryan, meanwhile, would follow in the younger girl’s footsteps, becoming a British Black Panther, a founder member of the Brixton Black Women’s Group and, in 1985, the co-author of the seminal book The Heart of the Race: Black Women’s Lives in Britain – which helped educate generations of women about the struggles and triumphs of Black women in Britain.“She was always very fierce,” Bryan says, over a video call from her home in Jamaica, of her friend Morris, who died in 1979. “She was always a strong person, a strong personality.” Bryan and Morris had much in common – both were born in Jamaica before emigrating to London as young children – and they quickly became friends who reminisced with a laugh about their early dispute. Continue reading...
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How Captain Cook described the weather on Antarctica voyage
Journal tells of ‘an unusual Snow white brightness’ as explorer’s ship made its way through icy islandsJames Cook is already within the Antarctic Circle on 28 January 1774, in “a gentle breeze of Wind, attended by a thick Fogg and snow and then Showers of Snow and Sleet. Continued our course to the South till 11 o’Clock PM, when falling in with Some Ice Islands, and the fog being very thick we hauled the wind to the Eastward.”Within an hour, say the Journals of Captain Cook, edited for the Hakluyt Society by JC Beaglehole, HMS Resolution is heading south again. At 4am on 30 January he perceives “the Clowds to the south near the horizon to be of an unusual Snow white brightness which denounced our approach to field ice, soon after it was seen from the Mast-head and at eight o’Clock we were close to the edge of it which extended East and West in a streight line far beyond our sight”. Continue reading...
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Forget Ratatouille, here's Ratatoing! The rise and rise of the 'mockbuster'
If there’s a big animated film coming out, a studio somewhere will be rushing to release a cheap imitation. But who makes them? Are they proud of their work? And how did they become an internet hit?It is hard to describe what happens 24 minutes into Ratatoing, an animated children’s movie from 2007. Four unnerving rats – one with a handlebar moustache, another in pearls – begin to jump up and down and grunt in a restaurant, in order to alarm the human clientele. “La, la, la, la, la,” they sort of sing while sort of dancing. They then do the can-can and shout “HA, HA, HA!” before making ghostly noises. Ratatoing is not, it is safe to say, a good movie. It is barely even an acceptable movie. It was created in just four months by Brazilian animation studio Vídeo Brinquedo, to be released in the same month as Ratatouille, the restaurant-and-rat-themed film that went on to win Pixar the Oscar for best animated feature.“I don’t have regrets but I’m not proud of it,” says Ale McHaddo, one of Ratatoing’s producers. He says Vídeo Brinquedo had a budget of just £75,000 to script, cast, animate and score each movie he worked on. These included The Little Cars (released the same year as Pixar’s Cars) and Little Bee (released two years after DreamWorks’ Bee Movie). Ratatouille’s budget, by comparison, was £112m. “I was young and needed to produce some films,” says the 37-year-old from São Paulo. “I thought, ‘I have plenty of ideas – but OK, I need to pay my bills.’” Continue reading...
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Exclusive interview: Helen Glover, double Olympic champion and mother of three, on trying for Tokyo 2020 
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How to control your negative inner voice
There’s no escape from the voice in our head, but we can use tools to get it working for us.
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Channel 4 to follow undercover detectives catching paedophiles online in new ‘hard-hitting’ documentar
'What the child sexual abuse officers are witness to on a daily basis is truly horrific.'
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Chinese app TikTok cuts jobs in India following ban
Popular short-video Chinese app TikTok is cutting its workforce in India after hundreds of millions of its users dropped it to comply with a government ban on dozens of Chinese apps amid a military standoff between the two countries
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Coronavirus latest news: EU complains of 'lack of clarity' as AstraZeneca meeting fails to break vaccine deadlock
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Up to 7inches of snow and heavy flooding to trigger cold air 'battleground'
Severe weather warnings are in place for many parts of the country until tomorrow, with the Met Office warning of travel chaos and more flooding yet to come
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Man prises crocodile jaws from his head while swimming in suburban Cairns
The man escaped with minor injuries after feeling the ‘sudden impact’ of the crocodile bite to the top of his head during a swim in Lake Placid A man has escaped with minor injuries after reportedly prising the jaws of a crocodile off his head during an attack in far north Queensland.Paramedics say the 44-year-old man was bitten by a crocodile near Lake Placid Road, in the Cairns suburb of Caravonica, about 12.45pm on Thursday. Continue reading...
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Manhunt for 70-year-old accused of killing two duck hunters
Tennessee authorities warn public that David Vowell is armed and dangerous
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Tony Blair urges Boris Johnson to lead international coronavirus ‘passport’ push
TONY BLAIR has urged Boris Johnson to lead the push for an international coronavirus ‘passport' that could allow people to travel more freely.
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Biden pauses Trump policies as Blinken takes diplomatic helm
The Biden administration has paused or put under review a wide swath of Trump-era foreign policies as America's new top diplomat takes the helm of the State Department
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Biden: 'We can't wait any longer' to address climate crisis
President Joe Biden says "we can’t wait any longer″ to address the climate crisis, and that's driving his ambitious effort to stave off the worst effects of global warming
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Scott Disick 'furious and jealous' of Kourtney's romance with Travis Barker
Scott Disick is reportedly "freaking out" over ex Kourtney Kardashian's budding romance with Travis Barker as he is worried that it will affect their close relationship
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Virus aid package tests whether Biden, Congress can deliver
President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is more than a sweeping rescue plan
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Biden seen likely to keep Space Force, a Trump favorite
President Joe Biden has been working quickly to undo many initiatives by his predecessor
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In Wyoming, Cheney faces blowback for vote to impeach Trump
A nationwide fight for the GOP’s future is getting fierce in Wyoming
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Mum-of-seven died with her newborn baby just three days after giving birth
Emerald Tai's heartbroken partner was said to have 'lost his soulmate' after the tragic death, which saw the baby die after his mum slumped on top of him
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GOP tested anew by Georgia congresswoman's Facebook activity
Republicans have a Marjorie Taylor Greene problem — again
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Oregon puts debate over race in vaccine rollout to test
The role that race should play in deciding who gets priority for the COVID-19 vaccine in the next phase of the rollout is being put to the test in Oregon
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EXPLAINER: Executive orders can be swift but fleeting
President Joe Biden arrived at the White House ready to wield his pen to dismantle Donald Trump’s legacy and begin pushing his own priorities
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Kate Middleton said to have direct line with Queen Elizabeth II - 'Fantastic relationship'
KATE, the Duchess of Cambridge, is said to have a direct line of contact to Queen Elizabeth II, highlighting the royal's strong bond.
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Thor: Love and Thunder's impressive set takes shape in Sydney's Centennial Park
Filming officially got underway for Thor: Love and Thunder on Tuesday at Sydney's Fox Studios. And with Chris Hemsworth in town, the film crew are hard at work building a sci-fi set in Centennial Park.
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Lockdown beginning to slow spread of coronavirus, study shows
Cases are decreasing in London, the South West and South East, but increasing in the East Midlands
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Zuckerberg says Apple is now Facebook's biggest competitor as Facebook profits surge 53 per cent
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (pictured) said on Wednesday his company had 'a strong end to the year as people and businesses continued to use our services during these challenging times.'
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Apple to crack down on tracking iPhone users in early spring
Apple says it will roll out a new privacy control in the spring to prevent iPhone apps from secretly shadowing people
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At Sundance, pandemic dramas unfold on screen and off
The pandemic has transformed the annual Sundance Film Festival into a largely virtual event, but it has also reshaped many of the films that will unspool there
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry 'can't bear’ criticism as social media ‘death trap’ looms
MEGHAN MARKLE and Prince Harry have been accused of being afraid to hear what people have to say about them, by a top brand expert.
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Witness claims seeing Giulio Regeni in Cairo police station before death
Man also alleges hearing Egyptian security officials discuss tampering with Italian student’s mobile phoneA man who claims to have witnessed the arrest of Giulio Regeni has told the Guardian how he heard and saw the Cambridge PhD student inside a police station in Cairo before he was found dead by a roadside.The witness, who is regarded as credible by investigators in Rome, said the security officials alleged to have detained the Italian behaved as if they were above the law. “Those people that took Giulio were different,” he said. “Everyone is afraid of [Egypt’s] National Security Agency.” Continue reading...
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Anthony Martial backed by Man United manager Solskjaer amid criticism
Edinson Cavani has not played in front of Man United fans at a stadium but has struck up a bond with them whereas Anthony Martial's popularity is waning.
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Arsenal transfer round-up as Gunners plot Garcia swoop while Odegaard arrives
Arsenal have already made two new signings in January, along with three departures, and could do further business before the window slams shut next week
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Coronavirus live news: WHO says Covid 'war' can be won; White House predicts 90,000 more deaths by March
US CDC chief says 90,000 could die in next four weeks; Madrid health authorities pause vaccinations amid supply issues; ‘We are in the fight of our lives,’ says WHOBritain and EU clash over claims to UK-produced Covid vaccineCanada: backlash after millionaire got jab meant for Indigenous peopleGermany expected to tighten borders to control spread of variantsChina to use anal swabs to test for Covid in high infection areas 4.58am GMT The Philippines’ Food and Drug Administration has approved the emergency use of AstraZeneca PLC’s Covid vaccine, the second to be approved in the Southeast Asian nation, Reuters reports. The known and potential benefits of AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine outweighed the risks to date, FDA chief Rolando Enrique Domingo told a news conference. 4.40am GMT Vietnam has reported its first cases of community transmission in months, after two infections were detected in the northern provinces of Hai Duong and Quang Ninh, just weeks before the Lunar New Year holiday.While the new case numbers are very small, they have caused concern in Vietnam, which had gone 55 days without any local infections. The country has been praised for its strict quarantine and contact tracing efforts, which have allowed it to successfully limit the spread of the virus over the past year. Since the start of the pandemic, it has recorded 1,551 cases and 35 related deaths. Continue reading...
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EU vaccine CHAOS: AstraZeneca loyal to UK and Brussels HUMILIATED as jab row turns ugly
LOYALTY between pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and the UK is a key reason for Britain's effective vaccination rollout campaign, it is claimed.
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US takes aim at China territorial claims as Biden vows to back Japan
US president smooths over Trump-era complaints to deepen Japan security alliance as new secretary of state rejects Beijing’s South China Sea claimsJoe Biden has vowed to strengthen the US’s alliance with Japan to counter growing Chinese military activity in the volatile Asia-Pacific region, including a commitment to defend the Senkakus, a group of islands in the East China sea administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.The US president and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga agreed during a phone call that their countries’ security alliance was “the cornerstone of peace and prosperity in a free and open Indo-Pacific”. Continue reading...
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Asia Today: China's big holiday travel season light so far
Efforts to dissuade Chinese from traveling for Lunar New Year appeared to be working
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Regulator says Australia must address Google ad dominance
Australia’s competition watchdog says a lack of competition for Google and a lack of transparency in the digital advertising supply chain need to be addressed because they are impacting publishers, advertisers and consumers
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Meghan Markle 'misjudged' Royal Family role as Kate Middleton 'adapted' claims embroider
MEGHAN MARKLE may have "misjudged" her move into the Royal Family according to the embroiderer who worked on the Duchess of Sussex's wedding dress veil.
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Celebrity Best Home Cook fans say Gareth Thomas was 'robbed' after elimination
Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas was the second contestant to be eliminated from the brand-new BBC1 series after failing to impress the judges in the Eliminator round
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Why Manchester United waited so long to make Edinson Cavani substitution
Anthony Martial's poor form continued for Man United but Edinson Cavani did not come on until the 66th minute against Sheffield United.
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