Bill Clinton has been busy this morning. Shortly after his appearance on CNN, he pops up on CBS’s Face The Nation.
He is asked by host Margaret Brennan why he nominated Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the supreme court during his presidency.
Joe Biden retains his lead over Donald Trump nationally, according to a new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. Biden leads the president 51% to 43% in the new poll, with the challenger’s lead narrowing slightly from the last NBC/Wall Street Journal poll when Biden led 50% to 41%.
Biden is up in the so-called battleground states – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – but the margin is smaller, with the Democrat nominee leading 51% to 45%.
Thousands march to demand curbs on the power and budget of the royal family
Thousands of Thai protesters marched near the official residence of the king on Sunday to hand-deliver a letter demanding curbs on the power and budget of the royal family, in one of the boldest challenges to the institution in living memory.
Thailand’s monarchy has long been considered beyond direct public criticism, but over recent months a student-led pro-democracy movement has broken deeply ingrained taboos to call for reforms.
As the world battled the first wave of coronavirus infections, scientists and doctors pulled together in an unprecedented global effort to explore the virus, the illness it causes, and the drugs and vaccines that might bring it under control. But as many countries face a resurgence in cases, what have we found out about Covid-19?
City of Galveston and Galveston county issue voluntary evacuation orders, as did the city of Seabrook to the north of Galveston
Tropical Storm Beta was making a slow crawl to the shores of Texas and Louisiana on Sunday, casting worries about heavy rain, flooding and storm surge across the Gulf coast.
Beta was one of three named storms in the Atlantic basin. If the system makes landfall in Texas, which forecasters predict it will sometime on Monday, it would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental US in 2020. Colorado State hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said that would tie a record set in 1916.
Circuit de la Sarthe was empty of fans due to Covid-19
Briton Paul di Resta took first class win for United Autosports
Proving definitively that sticking to their task was worth it, Toyotacompleted their own test of endurance in style with victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours securing a hat-trick of wins for the team at the meeting. There were no fans at the Circuit de la Sarthe to celebrate their achievement but Toyota took huge pleasure in ensuring their place in the pantheon of endurance racing as this year’s vingt-quatre brought the curtain down on the current iteration of the top class of sports cars.
After a topsy-turvy opening, this game soon developed a familiar theme, with Harry Kane supplying a supercharged Son Heung-min to strike four times to earn Tottenham a resounding victory. It is the first time one player has assisted another four times in a single Premier League match but Kane eventually got in on the act to score Spurs’ fifth after prying on a rebound. When Spurs click in the final third as they did here, the thought of adding the returning Gareth Bale into the attacking cocktail is a mouthwatering proposition.
From its early days as a whimsical, arthouse space through more recent waves of influencers and pool inflatables, the world’s favourite photo-sharing app has rewired society for good and bad
The most-downloaded app of 2010 made the photographs you took on your phone look way cooler. Vintage-effect filters, artful vignettes and a square-frame layout gave your ordinary snaps a pleasingly nostalgic Polaroid appeal. But 10 years later, barely anyone remembers Hipstamatic. It was a different photo-sharing app, which launched snapping at Hipstamatic’s heels on 6 October 2010, that went on to change the world. Last month more than 1 billion people posted photos on Instagram.
You probably wouldn’t have predicted, from the co-founder of Instagram Mike Krieger’s first post, that you were witnessing the birth of a cultural and economic phenomenon. It was a shot of San Francisco’s South Beach harbour viewed through the industrial-chic steel-framed windows of Pier 38. Only the composition, tilted so that the boat masts angled at 45 degrees, hinted at ambition beyond the pedestrian. But a decade later, Instagram has rewired society. It has changed how we look, what we eat, our relationships, how we vote, where we go on holiday and what we spend our money on. From the Kardashians to avocados to mental health, many stories of the past decade are part of the story of Instagram.
There is a chapter in Bill Buford’s book Dirt – his hugely entertaining account of a five-year journey into the earthy, primal food culture of Lyon – in which he persuades local farmers that he should help in the killing of a pig. The blood from the animal will be used to make the pungent Lyonnaise speciality, boudin noir.
As with much of his book, Buford might have been careful what he wished for. The slaughter is a secretive and deeply traditional ritual. It becomes Buford’s job to stir the blood as it flows from the cut throat of the animal into a bucket, to prevent it from coagulating. Then, by mouth, he is required to blow up the casually sluiced intestines of the pig, ready to be filled by the blood and a mix of herbs and onions for the sausage. The chapter, which is not for the faint-hearted, gives an idea of the lengths to which the author went to get fully under the skin of his adoptive French city.
Footage shows crowded scenes hours after town was excluded from Covid restrictions
A senior health official has urged people not to flock to Blackpool “just because you can”, after huge crowds descended on the seaside resort over the weekend.
Day-trippers said they had “never seen Blackpool so busy” on Saturday as people poured into the town hours after it was excluded from new coronavirus restrictions, which apply to most of north-west England.
Security forces will not remain anonymous, anti-Lukashenko protesters say
Anonymous hackers leaked the personal data of 1,000 Belarusian police officers in retaliation for a crackdown on street demonstrations against the veteran president, Alexander Lukashenko, as protesters geared up for another mass rally on Sunday.
“As the arrests continue, we will continue to publish data on a massive scale,” said a statement distributed by the opposition news channel Nexta Live on the messaging app Telegram. “No one will remain anonymous, even under a balaclava.”
Covid-19 stopped fashion in its tracks: shows were cancelled, collections mothballed. Stuck at home, front row regular and fashion influencer Susie Lau started baking. Then she realised: a creative revolution was happening…
Back in mid-March, I was in full-throttle fashion mode. I had just finished up the autumn/winter shows marathon, shuttling from New York to London, and more precariously to Milan, where Giorgio Armani cancelled his show on the final day and cases of Covid-19 in the Lombardy region were rising rapidly. But in Paris, the final leg of fashion month, we were in a suspended state of decadence – going through the motions of attending shows, cocktail and dinner parties with a few scant masks floating around. By the time I finally returned to London, most of Europe had already gone into lockdown; still, fashion went on. The opening of a JW Anderson store in Soho marked the last time I got to hug friends in a crowded bar and wear a super-shiny dress out on a bustling street. We drank our cocktails like they would be the last enjoyed together in a long time. A week later, Boris Johnson gave his televised message for everyone: “Stay Home. Protect the NHS. Save lives.”
The ways in which the fashion industry and my line of work operate fell like dominoes. The closing of borders everywhere meant that the fashion shows that were slated to happen in May, and the numerous press trips dotted throughout the year, couldn’t go ahead. The ban on gatherings of people put a stop to the industry dinners and parties. Factories all over had ceased production, creating ripples in supply chains which dovetailed with rapidly falling demand. Quite rightly, clothes shops were deemed “non-essential” and physical stores were shuttered. Fashion, with all its ephemerality and whimsy, predicated on people expressing themselves through what they wear in public, had rightly been condemned into a non-essential sin-bin.
The actor, relishing his first meal out in months, discusses lockdown, Line of Duty and playing opposite David Tennant in Des
If we’d had this lunch six or seven months ago, Daniel Mays suggests, he would have been banging on about how he never got to spend enough time with his wife and two children. Having been a series-stealing character actor for much of his career, last year, at 40, Mays was suddenly inundated with leading roles – many all at once. As well as the amiable hit movie Fisherman’s Friends, he starred in two Sky series, the comedy Code 404, in which he plays a misfiring robocop, and Temple, the underground thriller alongside Mark Strong, as well as the cultish Netflix Ibiza-rave-murder-mystery White Lines. Back in February, he was telling himself that he ought to take a break, go against all his actor’s instincts and say no to a few things, and then the pandemic made the decision for him.
Early on after lockdown, while out on their dutiful daily exercise in their local woods in north London, his wife, Louise Burton, slipped down a bank and broke her leg. Mays went from workaholic father to full-on home carer. “That first month was insane,” he says. “Lou was in plaster, my son was doing his mock exams in the attic and I was homeschooling my daughter downstairs.”
The overseas operations bill promises to end ‘vexatious’ prosecutions of soldiers, but it is far more sinister than that
• Lt Col Nicholas Mercer was senior military legal adviser to the 1st Armoured Division during the Iraq war of 2003
It is ironic timing that the overseas operations bill returns to parliament next week, not long after questions of international law dominated the political agenda. This government has already, brazenly, admitted that it is prepared to violate international law with the internal market bill. It is now proposing more of the same with an issue that has received less attention.
The way in which the egregious overseas operations bill violates international law isn’t complex or arcane. It seeks to introduce what has been termed a “triple lock” against the prosecution of British soldiers acting overseas. This triple lock includes a presumption against prosecution, a five-year statute of limitations and the requirement of consent from the attorney general before any prosecution can be brought. It undermines international humanitarian law while shielding the government against what may be wholly deserving claims.
Ekow Eshun’s photo exhibition aims to look deeper at life in the developing world
Charity imagery taken in the global south too often depicts it as “disease-ridden and exotic” and does not do enough to humanise its subjects, according to the curator of a new exhibition that aims to provide a “deeper” perspective.
Ekow Eshun, the writer, editor and chair of the Fourth Plinth Commissioning Group, said charity photography and reportage could still often misrepresent the people its creators are trying to manufacture empathy for.
France, Germany and UK say Washington does not have the authority, setting up clash
European leaders have warned the US that its claim to have the authority to reimpose sweeping UN-mandated sanctions on Iran has no effect in law, setting up a major legal clash that could lead to Washington imposing sanctions on its European allies.
In a joint statement on Sunday, France, Germany and the UK (E3) said any attempt by the US to impose its own sanctions on countries not complying with the reimposed UN ones was also legally void.
For Sara Seager, star-gazing offered a sense of perspective when tragedy struck
Fifteen years ago, I started my job at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an astrophysicist and planetary scientist, my job is to search for alien life. Not little green humanoids like ET, but signs of life on planets orbiting other stars. Every star is a sun and if our sun has planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, etc) it makes sense that other stars have planets also – and they do. We already know of thousands of stars that have planets. There are billions of stars in our galaxy making the possibilities “out there” huge and wondrous.
Back then, I had the perfect life: a great career; my dream home, a pretty yellow Victorian house; two adorable toddlers; and a loving husband.
Covid-induced export bans and and the devastating Beirut explosion have brought the wine industry in these two countries to the brink of collapse. Time to do your bit…
It has not been a vintage year for wine producers anywhere. According to an official report from the European Commission, the near-global shutdown of bars and restaurants in the spring meant Europe’s wine industry was among the hardest hit of all the continent’s agricultural sectors when Covid-19 struck. Producers in the US and Australia have had to cope with similar sales-sapping problems during the pandemic, while still struggling with the fallout from vineyard-ravaging wildfires. It’s the winemakers of South Africa and Lebanon who will be most anxious to see the back of 2020 – and who have had to grapple with the most challenging conditions.
In the Cape, the wine industry has been left reeling by the severity of the lockdown measures taken by the South African government as it struggled to deal with Africa’s worst outbreak of coronavirus. Domestic sales of alcohol were banned from March until June, and again from mid-July to mid-August, in a bid to alleviate the stress on the country’s struggling health sector.
In Almer?a’s vast farms, migrants pick fruit destined for UK supermarkets. But these ‘essential workers’ live in shantytowns and lack PPE as Covid cases soar
Photographs and drone footage by Ofelia de Pablo and Javier Zurita
It is the end of another day for Hassan, a migrant worker from Morocco who has spent the past 12 hours under a sweltering late summer sun harvesting vegetables in one of the vast greenhouses of Almer?a, southern Spain.
The vegetables he has dug from the red dirt are destined for dinner plates all over Europe. UK supermarkets including Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Lidl and Aldi all source fruit and vegetables from Almer?a. The tens of thousands of migrant workers working in the province are vital to the Spanish economy and pan-European food supply chains. Throughout the pandemic, they have held essential worker status, labouring in the fields while millions across the world sheltered inside.
Rather than confront the reality of child abuse, Trump fans have dreamed up an elaborate fiction to justify their support for a morally indefensible president
In recent weeks the groups have moved offline and into the real world, using their Facebook pages to organize in-person rallies outside tourist attractions like the Big Red Wagon in Spokane, Washington, and the state capitol building in Salem, Oregon. The believers hold signs that say things like “#SavetheChildren” and “Stop Child Trafficking.” They’re often accompanied by their children, wearing T-shirts and onesies that read “I am not for sale.”
At first glance they seem innocuous, like petitioners for a non-profit or an inoffensive social cause. But there are giveaways. Some of the signs bear images of pizza slices, a reference to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that held that Hillary Clinton was operating a pedophilia ring out of a gimmicky Washington DC pizza parlor called Comet Ping Pong. Sometimes the rally-goers wear T-shirts bearing the acronym “WWG1WGA,” which stands for “Where we go one we go all,” a fist-pumping slogan for adherents of the elaborate and baseless online conspiracy theory called QAnon.
Aubergine curry, jerk pork, roti, coleslaw, lime and ginger cheesecake: chef Marie Mitchell on cooking through a Caribbean lens
I cook because I love to host and I love to host because I’m a pleaser by nature. I take a lot of pleasure in seeing those I love, and now by extension those who come to my restaurant, having a bloody good time.
My journey into food was an opportunity to explore my cultural heritage in greater depth. Food became my vehicle of discovery. After initially exploring Caribbean cuisine and culture via my supper club series, Pop’s Kitchen, I co-founded the cultural space, restaurant and bar Island Social Club; a project aimed at filling the void of what we felt was an erosion of London’s once-thriving Caribbean social scene. It’s been incredibly special witnessing the scene grow, evolve and reaffirm itself, while being a part of that change and watching black British creatives across multiple disciplines carve their own spaces within industries.
Soho theatre, London This larky Zoom-era adaptation of the director’s film about white-collar leadership is full of improv-style gusto
In 2006, a year after the US launched a version of Ricky Gervais’s workplace satire The Office, Lars von Trier surprised his fanbase with a whimsical comedy on the vanities of white-collar leadership.
The Boss of It All featured Ravn, the owner of a Danish IT firm, who plays along as just another worker while hiring a pretentious actor to perform the role of company head in order to sell it off to an Icelandic firm and leave employees jobless.
Directors are queueing up to work with the Welsh actor about to hit the big time in her first lead role, in acclaimed psychological thriller Saint Maud
When Morfydd Clark was 16 years old, she crashed out of school. “After my GCSEs I just couldn’t go back,” she says. “I tried for a term but didn’t do any work and my mum said: ‘Why don’t you just drop out? There’s no point in being there if you’re going to be like this.’ So I spent a month in my pyjamas in my bedroom with the heating on, eating chocolates, and then she said: ‘Right, you’ve got to do something. You like acting, don’t you?’”
The reality was that Clark had barely done any acting since she was 13, when she had tottered around in high heels as a “hilariously sexualised” Mrs Dai Bread Two in a production at her south Wales secondary school of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood. But she obediently trotted along to auditions for the National Youth Theatres of both Wales and Great Britain, adding the Welsh National Youth Opera because she also liked singing. “I got into all of them, which was really not what I expected at all,” she says, “and that was when my life started to become really happy.”
The Nazis’ V2 rocket programme is seen through the eyes of a conflicted German and a female air force office in a familiar but absorbing thriller
As the second world war hurtled towards its climax, the Nazis summoned up a final, futile burst of creative energy and channelled it into a rocket, the V2, which gives its name to Robert Harris’s 14th novel. Harris, in a narrative that is characteristically propulsive, tells the story of the V2 through twin perspectives – Dr Rudi Graf, a (fictional) friend and longtime collaborator of Wernher von Braun, real-life head of the Nazi rocket programme, and (the fictional) Kay Caton-Walsh of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force.
Kay works first in England, then at Mechelen in Belgium, analysing photographs through which she hopes to reveal the location of a secret V2 launch site, deep within the woods outside the Dutch resort of Scheveningen. Kay’s character feels strangely underdeveloped – the doughty SOE type who shows the men a thing or two has become a staple of the second world war literary landscape and it would have been nice to see Harris give her some edges.
If the message lands, Northampton county in key battleground state could help deliver Trump four more years
The wave of rallies for racial justice that swept America this summer arrived in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, with dueling marches in support of Black Lives Matter and of law enforcement – and dueling online petitions to “defund the police” and “defend the police”.
The Darjeeling Express chef and star of Netflix’s Chef’s Table on tackling sexism, racism and opening a new restaurant during coronavirus
Asma Khan’s biryani has the power to make you cry. Not in the hyperbolic, internet vernacular sense, where food is considered “amazing”, “divine” or “to die for”. But I took a friend to the farewell supper club at Khan’s restaurant Darjeeling Express, before it moved to a new location, and somewhere between the ceremonial opening of the daig (the cauldron in which the biryani is made) and eating those first few spoonfuls of rice, my friend – a part-time DJ and a full-time cynic – literally began to cry.
“It’s because it’s home,” said Khan sympathetically. Platters from her all-female staffed kitchen came out stacked high, making sure everyone had enough of the tear-jerking biryani to box up for afters. Reviews in the loos were similarly ecstatic. “It’s the taste of my whole childhood,” one middle-aged Indian diner told me in the queue. “Asma has haat ka maza.” It’s a compliment that roughly translates as having hands that hold a magic alchemy, which by south Asian telling can’t be learned by rigidly following recipes but is a gift one either has or hasn’t.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, has warned that the UK is at a “tipping point” nationally, while new coronavirus restrictions on London could be introduced in the coming days.
“This country faces a tipping point,” he said. “We face a choice. If everybody follows the rules – and we’ll be increasingly stringent on the people who are not following the rules – then we can avoid further national lockdowns. But we of course have to be prepared to take action if that it what is necessary. I don’t rule it out; I don’t want to see it.”
As seasons meld, bright vegetables meet warm, earthy flavours
I can’t see a pile of peppers without thinking of them roasted, their silky, scarlet flesh surrounded by their own caramel-coloured juices. It is a recipe I do without thinking – the long, thin peppers are left whole, snuggled in a roasting tin, their skin glossy with olive oil. They are roasted till they puff up, letting out a sigh as they collapse and their juice pools in the bottom of the tin. They make their own dressing, with a smoky sweetness from the peppers, a hint of bitterness from the charred skin. We eat them this way, with basil leaves, torn mozzarella and chewy bread for the juices.
Long, thin romano peppers – the variety that look like Aladdin’s slippers – work well here
The rock star and poet on solitude, her lifelong friend Sam Shepard, and writing her latest memoir
Patti Smith, rock star, poet, visual artist and writer, won the 2010 National book award with her memoir Just Kids. The Year of the Monkey, her moving postscript – about loss, serendipity, friendship and hope – is out now in paperback (Bloomsbury).
Did you plan The Year of the Monkey or did it almost write itself? Truthfully, I had no goal. It was the end of 2015. I’d had concerts at the Fillmore in San Francisco and was supposed to go on a trip with my good friend Sandy Pearlman. But he had an accident and was in a coma and I was without a plan. I don’t drive, so decided to linger to be in his proximity and, being alone, started keeping a journal. I find writing a journal is like having an imaginary friend.
If the government can’t be bothered with the law, Noel Gallagher and Ian Brown shouldn’t be expected to care either
On Monday, the Oasis pop star Noel Gallagher announced his suspicion of masks: “If I get the virus it’s on me, it’s not on anyone else… it’s a piss-take,” declared the People’s Virologist. “There’s no need for it… They’re pointless.” The previous week, in a punctuation-resistant statement Auto-Tuned into near coherence, former Stone Roses singer Ian Brown declared: “NO LOCKDOWN NO TESTS NO TRACKS NO MASKS NO VAX”, and appeared to imply that billionaire Bill Gates had released the bat virus. Two members of 90s northern indie bands had announced their distrust of Covid realities. I found my Britpop-era Filofax to see if I could track and trace a failure to trust scientific and health data generally among the fading faces of the Madchester generation. Top one!
Tommy Scott, of Liverpool’s 1996 Female of the Species hitmakers Space, did not disappoint. “I do not believe in any germs,” he told me by text. “If they are real, and there’s loads, why don’t they have a smell?” Leon Meya, vocalist of Stockport’s From a Window chart-toppers Northern Uproar, revealed his suspicions of hand-sanitiser: “It could be anything. We don’t know. It might just be water with glue in it, or liquidised Pritt Sticks. It could be bats’ jizz. If I see anyone using it I slap them.” Finally, the Stone Roses’ dancer and vibesmaster, known only as Cressa, told me that he had recently prevented a teenage boy receiving the Human Papillomavirus vaccine (HPV) by snatching it from the nurse’s hands and downing it in one himself, like a tequila shot. “Papillomavirus isn’t even an English word,” he explained, “it was made up by French scientists. It means ‘the butterfly is unwell’. I saw it on the internet.”
About 15,000 to 20,000 Argentinians are estimated to have moved to Uruguay since the pandemic began
Agustina Valls’ phone is ringing off the hook.
“It started as a trickle when the pandemic first hit Argentina, but now we’re getting over 20 calls a day,” she said from her office in Uruguay’s luxury beach resort of Punta Del Este.
Valls runs a thriving business guiding well-off Argentinians through the red tape of acquiring Uruguayan residence – a skill she learned arranging her own residency application after marrying a Uruguayan lawyer last October.
A growing number of shows have been announced both in London and around the country. But how does a socially distanced night out at the theatre work? And if theatres can’t fit as many people in as they did pre-pandemic, does that mean tickets are more expensive?
Rumours of a leap forward in technology to be announced this week have energised an already bullish market
Carmakers’ annual meetings can be drab affairs: executives reading from a script, votes decided by big investors who don’t bother turning up, and perhaps the odd small shareholder deciding to take a pop at management. Tesla is different. This week’s event will be livestreamed around the world, with investor hype over what the company is teasing as its “battery day” reaching Steve Jobs/iPhone levels of fever pitch.
Tesla has already achieved astonishing things, almost singlehandedly spurring the car industry towards its electric future while growing its own revenues from $100m in 2010 to $24.6bn in 2019. Now investors hope that chief executive Elon Musk will be revealing a technological leap relating to battery power on Tuesday to put it further ahead of its rivals.
Even people who were once his most fervent cheerleaders are beginning to question whether he is fit to be prime minister
When Philip Tetlock and Dan Gardner published their much-discussed book, Superforecasting, one admiring reviewer thought it contained essential lessons for governing. He wrote: “Forecasts have been fundamental to mankind’s journey from a small tribe on the African savannah to a species that can sling objects across the solar system with extreme precision. In physics, we developed models that are extremely accurate across vastly different scales from the sub-atomic to the visible universe. In politics, we bumbled along making the same sort of errors repeatedly.”
Presumably in the hope of improving the government’s powers of prediction, Dominic Cummings, for he was that reviewer, put Superforecasting on the summer reading list that he issued to ministerial advisers. Alas, it does not appear to have enhanced the ability of the prime minister, his visually challenged colleague or anyone else in this government to see into the future. These are members of a regime that struggles to see into next week. They are particularly terrible at forecasting the consequences of their own actions.
The cheesy habits of David Cameron, the loneliness of Boris Johnson, the strange rise of Gavin Williamson… Swire’s no-holds-barred Diary of an MP’s Wife is causing consternation among its subjects. Is she worried?
In the kitchen of Chaffcombe Manor, her rambling Devonshire home, Sasha Swire, whose mischievously indiscreet political diaries are published this week, appears to be suffering from a bad case of the writerly equivalent of buyer’s remorse. Round and round the table she goes, as busy as one of her bees, pausing only occasionally to fling open the door of her Aga, into which she then carefully inserts her bum (I think the idea is to warm it up, but given that the weather is fine today, perhaps it’s more a matter of comfort). “Oh, please don’t put that in,” she yelps at one point, my having brought up a particularly choice entry from 2012, in which Michael Heseltine pretends, at a private dinner, that the Queen has asked him to form a government (he then proceeds to appoint his various guests to his imaginary cabinet). But it’s in your book, I say: all the world will be able to read it soon. She performs another frantic circuit of the room. “Oh, I beg you. Please don’t write about that.”
Is she really worried? Apparently, she is. Earlier this year, when she emailed, out of the blue, a literary agent, wondering whether the diaries she kept between 2010 and 2019 would be of any wider interest, this – the jamboree of publication – was almost impossible to imagine. But now, it’s a terrible reality. Her friends (and enemies) are about to find out just what she and her husband, Hugo, formerly the Conservative MP for East Devon, think of them. Michael Gove will discover that they regard him as “ever so slightly bonkers” (after our meeting, Gove’s wife, the journalist Sarah Vine, will publish two vicious ripostes, complaining of Swire’s poshness and insisting she barely knows her). Boris Johnson will learn that she believes he is “desperately lonely and unhappy on the inside”. Worst of all, David Cameron, under whom her husband, his friend and fellow old Etonian, served as a minister, will have to make his lucrative speeches knowing that his audience is now fully acquainted with the fact that he’s the kind of guy who likes to talk penis size at parties (on the occasion of George Osborne’s birthday in 2013, the PM could be found laughing uproariously at Hugo’s likening of Gove’s member to a Slinky – a toy for which, Sasha writes, their generation has a particularly fond “attachment”).
The psychologist and member of Independent Sage on the flaws in the Conservative government’s response to Covid-19, and its failure to build trust through honest communication
Susan Michie, 65, is a professor of health psychology at University College London and leader of the Human Behaviour Change project funded by the Wellcome Trust. She has been part of the Covid-19 behavioural science team, a sub-group of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage). She also sits on the independent Sage committee chaired by Sir David King.
How important was behavioural thinking in the advice given to government by Sage initially. How interested were they in that aspect of the response? The behavioural science advisory group is more than 30 people from many different disciplinary backgrounds, and types of expertise, many of them world leaders in their areas. We’ve probably published 60 or 70 papers over the past six months. I have to say I haven’t seen very much of that coming through in terms of the government’s response. Certainly not since the “Stay Alert” type messaging. It doesn’t appear to me that they’ve read the advice.
The cash-strapped London gallery is to debate the sale of a Renaissance masterpiece that could fetch more than ?100m
When the British artist John Constable first saw Michelangelo’s marble masterpiece, known as the Taddei Tondo, in the Royal Academy, he said it was “one of the most beautiful works of art in existence”.
The 515-year-old sculpture had been given to the London gallery in 1829 following the death of its owner, Lady Margaret Beaumont, as an inspiration to students in the academy’s schools.
Tory peer’s twin civil service roles are incompatible with taking the Conservative whip, says former justice secretary
Boris Johnson has been accused by a former Labour lord chancellor of corrupting the constitution by appointing Tory peer Dido Harding to powerful twin civil service roles in the fight against Covid-19.
Lord Falconer, who is also a former justice secretary, spoke out as his party’s leader in the House of Lords Baroness Angela Smith wrote to the newcabinet secretary, Simon Case, asking for urgent clarification of what appeared to be a clear breach of the civil service code.
Contestants, cast and crew lived together for six weeks in a hotel to make 2020 show look as normal as possible
Congratulatory handshakes from judge Paul Hollywood, pies with “soggy bottoms” and a bunting-festooned tent will all reassure fans of The Great British Bake Off that this year’s series contains all its usual ingredients – despite being filmed in the shadow of coronavirus.
Kelly Webb-Lamb, Channel 4’s deputy director of programmes, told the Observer that while the show “doesn’t look or feel any different”, behind the scenes she and the makers, Love Productions, went to extraordinary lengths to pull off creating the usual Bake Off amid the restrictions caused by the pandemic.
The woman behind cult HBO comedy Insecure has been making and starring in her own series for years. What took Hollywood so long to notice?
Issa Rae, one of the first black women to create and star in a premium cable series and potentially the hardest-working person in Hollywood, is putting in overtime with the aim of having it all. She is Emmy-nominated. She is Golden Globe-nominated. She is a writer, an actor and an executive producer, often all at once. Her hit HBO show, Insecure, which just aired its fourth season, has transformed her into the patron saint of black millennial creatives. She is the black Madonna, adorning endless mood-boards.
Fans, black fans specifically, don’t simply watch Insecure, we live-tweet it, we argue about it, we create petitions for it to be extended to one hour, much to the chagrin of its creator. “We sold a half-hour comedy,” Rae tells me when I press her on fan demands for longer episodes, “and I literally have no desire to make an hour show!” A bad Zoom connection means I can’t see her, but I can hear the smile. She is warm, witty, and a total potty-mouth. “Even hearing people say: ‘This is how you can make it an hour, you can do this, you can do that…’ OK, well we don’t want to!”
A coalition of educators seeks alternative exams after summer algorithm chaos during Covid crisis
A coalition of private and state schools is expected to launch a campaign to end GCSEs, as growing numbers of schools look at alternatives to the exams following the summer algorithm debacle.
Eton, Bedales, St Paul’s girls’ school, Latymer upper school and several substantial academy chains have been joined by Margaret Thatcher’s education secretary, Kenneth Baker, who created GCSEs, to discuss proposals for replacing the exam system.
The Real Madrid reject should still have explosive pace and looks suited to Harry Kane and Jos? Mourinho’s tactics
Football loves nothing more than a redemption myth. While there are many who will tell you to never go back, there is more rejoicing in the kingdom of football over one player who returns home than over nine and ninety who never leave.
The narrative appeal of Gareth Bale at Tottenham is clear. He was the protagonist of their first side to compete in the Champions League, the explosive forward who scored a hat-trick at San Siro and obliterated Maicon at White Hart Lane, Tottenham’s first global superstar since Paul Gascoigne left for Lazio.
Roglic came to cycling late after starting out as a ski jumper while precocious talent Pogacar has been steeped in the sport
French headline writers love to adapt the sentence used on level crossings by the national rail company to warn that if the red lights keep flashing, another train may be coming. The 2020 Tour de France is a landmark edition in various ways, but with Tadej Pogacar snatching a last-gasp, unlikely win from Primoz Roglic on Saturday, the old level-crossing cliche, un train peut en cacher un autre, could sum up the past three weeks: one Slovenian can come in the slipstream of another.
Nailing first and second in the biggest bike race in the world is a huge step for one of the smallest cycle racing nations, one with a population of two million people, which has been independent for less than 30 years. It may seem outlandish, but some unlikely places have sat at the top of the tree since the sport opened up in the mid?1980s.
Publication of her latest detective novel has triggered a storm of hatred and abuse
The most powerful way to attack a book, Salman Rushdie writes in his memoir, Joseph Anton, “is to demonise its author, to turn him into a creature of base motives and evil intentions”.
The same thing, it turns out, can be said of a “her”. Now that Twitter content doubles as news, you don’t need to be a member of that habitually irate community to have gathered that Troubled Blood, the new Cormoran Strike detective novel from JK Rowling, has been denounced by people who would not read it on principle, on account of it being by JK Rowling. Some copies are reportedly being burned, with the more frugal preferring to incinerate their old Harry Potters.
Failure to protect fragile moors habitat fans doubts about the government’s green credentials
Ministers have been accused of deliberately stalling plans to ban the environmentally damaging process of burning peat bogs, in a further sign of government support for people who enjoy shooting grouse on moorlands.
After a week in which it emerged that people who shoot grouse had been exempted from the “rule of six”, which limits gatherings in the fight against Covid-19, activists believe the environment secretary, George Eustice, who is from a farming family, is blocking moves to ban peat burning.
It began in the US with lurid claims and a hatred of the ‘deep state’. Now it’s growing in the UK, spilling over into anti-vaccine and 5G protests, fuelled by online misinformation. Jamie Doward examines the rise of a rightwing cult movement
He was desperate and scared and pleading for advice. “It’s integrating itself into soft rightwing timelines and I believe it’s starting to radicalise many. Seeing my mum and nan fall for it unaware is so troubling. I’ve seen it all over Facebook and these people genuinely believe they’re revealing the truth.”
It is QAnon, the unfounded conspiracy theory that has gone through countless, bewildering versions since it emerged in the US in 2017 and is now spreading like California’s wildfires across the internet.
The first wave of coronavirus swept through a world unprepared. Authorities struggled to test for the disease, and didn’t know how to slow the spread of Covid-19.
Lockdowns brought the virus under temporary control in some places, including the UK, buying a window for the revival of education and the economy, and time to prepare for future waves that epidemiologists said were almost inevitable.
Deposed royal who fled to UK after 1964 revolution finally reunited with family in Oman
After more than half a century of living in Southsea, Portsmouth, with its unpredictable British weather, shingle beaches and Victorian pier, relocation to the Gulf state of Oman might take some adjustment.
But for Jamshid bin Abdullah al-Said the 91-year-old last sultan of Zanzibar, it was the next best thing to going home.
As barriers and signs go up to stop rat runs and promote cycling and walking, communities are deeply divided over the benefits
Behind a pair of giant wooden planters bursting with green grasses and purple flowers, 30 or so secondary school students spread out across an empty residential road in Oval, in the London borough of Lambeth. The only sound is the rising swell of their banter and laughter as not a single car or van engine can be heard nearby.
While the discovery of the normally microbe-produced phosphine on our toxic neighbour is astonishing, other candidates for life are more promising
It remains one of the most unexpected scientific discoveries of the year. To their astonishment, British scientists last week revealed they had uncovered strong evidence that phosphine – a toxic, rancid gas produced by microbes – exists in the burning, acid-drenched atmosphere of Venus.
Gregory Crewdson’s meticulously staged landscapes explore post-industrial decline in small-town America
Gregory Crewdson’s photographs understood social distancing before it became reality. His landscapes, which have a broken-down, apocalyptic cast, usually include a few figures, set adrift in different ways, apparently unable to connect with one another, or with the place in which they find themselves. Redemption Center is the first of a series of 16 taken between 2018 and 2019 on the edge of a town called Pittsfield, about 20 miles from Crewdson’s home in rural Massachusetts. He calls the series – huge pictures, seven feet across – An Eclipse of Moths after the effect of a swarm of insects around an outside lamp, that causes the light to dim.
Crewdson, 57, who is director of graduate studies in photography at Yale University, spends a long time scouting locations, then embellishing them, painting billboards, towing in car wrecks. He will contact businesses and authorities and ask them not to mow the verges or collect the rubbish for a while. Fog machines provide a dispiriting miasma; the puddles come from water trucks. Lighting on 40-foot cranes casts an otherworldly, even-handed light over the scene – nothing is out of focus; the list of credits that accompanies the pictures is like the roll call at the end of a movie, a legion of best boys and gaffers and key grips.
During lockdown millions started WFH – and most of us don’t want to go back. In just a few months the landscape of work, family and city life has altered dramatically - but are all the changes positive?
There’s a man sitting at the first-floor window of the house that lies on the other side of my back fence. It’s early August, the weather is sweltering, and his window is wide open. He’s talking on a hands-free phone, laughing in that ingratiating manner that suggests a large payday is at stake. He speaks in a fashionable sales patter that sounds similar to real conversation, but crucially isn’t, and he’s practically broadcasting his pitch to the neighbourhood. WTF? I want to shout, but I already know the answer: WFH.
With the exception of Covid-19 itself, working from home has been the big story of 2020. I’ve been home-based for more than 20 years and for most of that time, before my neighbour began advertising his WFH status, I was a local exception, left to my own devices in tranquil isolation. No one was much interested in the emotional dynamics of my daily work regime. But since the lockdown emptied the nation’s offices, it’s become a national topic of conversation.
Boris Johnson, Joe Biden, Nigel Farage and the EU are all guilty of using the peace process for their own ends
Everybody has an opinion on Northern Ireland. It’s one of the many drawbacks of being from this part of the world. We’re a talking point for other people, an easily weaponised subject to be used and cast aside for ulterior motives. Brexit has allowed this to play out on the international stage. We’ve become a proxy in a culture war. The main actors care little for Northern Ireland or the people who live here.
On 20January 2020, in a pre-Covid world, the Northern Ireland assembly voted to withhold consent for the withdrawal agreement. The agreement, hailed as a triumph by the British government and the European Union, was rejected by every party in the assembly. The assembly members had different reasons for voting against the agreement and different agendas, but on this issue they were united. In December of 2019, every Northern Ireland MP sitting in the Westminster parliament had voted against the deal.
Rugs, patio heaters and fire pits fly off the shelves as the nation gears up to socialise through the colder months
Winter is coming. Game of Thrones fans know that this is a warning to prepare for dark times, and it has never been more apt than during the Covid pandemic.
Six months ago, Boris Johnson gave the nation a “simple instruction” – to stay at home to stop the spread of the disease. The weather that day in most of the country was pretty good for early spring – widespread sunshine after a frosty start, with a high of 15C.
As Plymouth marks 400 years since the colonists set sail, the high price paid by Native American tribes is now revealed in an exhibition
For a ship that would sail into the pages of history, the Mayflower was not important enough to be registered in the port book of Plymouth in 1620. Pages from September of that year bear no trace of the vessel, because it was only only 102 passengers and not cargo, making it of no official interest.
Lyon’s may look like just another local restaurant, but it’s well worth the trip to Crouch End
Lyon’s Seafood and Wine Bar, 1 Park Road, Crouch End, London N8 8TE (020 8350 8983). Small plates ?2.50-?9, main dishes ?12.50-?17.50, desserts ?7, wines from ?21
Many years ago, I was a regular carol singer around the streets of Crouch End in north London, which was an odd pre-Christmas night out for an atheist Jew. Then again, very few of those in our group had much interest in the baby Jesus. We just liked the tunes and the potential for fundraising. From these repeated trips I learned two things about Crouch End. The first is that, compared to many other parts of London, it’s a right pain in the arse to get to. Tube and train lines have no desire to go anywhere near it, which means it’s a bus ride or nothing.
His first great presidential scoop came via a shadowy car park and a source known as Deep Throat. His latest arrived in the broad daylight of the Oval Office and a president only too willing to blow the whistle on himself.
What do Matthew Wolff and Francis Ouimet have in common? Nothing yet, but that could be about to change at Winged Foot. The scale of Wolff’s potential achievement is borne out by history. Ouimet was the last player to win the US Open on his debut; 107 years ago. Freakishly, 1913 also marked the last time this major was held in September. It even concluded on the month’s 20th day.
The 21-year-old Wolff, doubtless inspired by Collin Morikawa’s success at last month’s US PGA Championship, will take a two-stroke lead at five under par into day four after a third round display that completely belied his inexperience. Wolff’s grip on this major was tightened on the final green, where he converted for a birdie. The leader’s wonderful second shot, from 207 yards, had finished within 10ft of the cup. Wolff signed for a 65. Not only is this his maiden US Open appearance, it is only his second in a major. Winged Foot is renowned as one of golf’s most brutal tests; Wolff has made it appear so blissfully straightforward. So far, that is.
Huge clan is believed to have originated from a pair of cats taken in three years ago
Animal charities in southern Spain were urgently seeking homes for 110 cats on Saturday after they and their owner were evicted from a flat in the Valencia region.
Spama Safor, an animal shelter in the south-eastern seaside town of Gandia, had initially thought there were only 96 cats in the flat. But by Saturday evening, the charity said it had removed a total of 110 cats and urgently needed help to shelter them “at least until they are vaccinated or sterilised”.
Indigenous legal service calls for government to implement all recommendations from royal commission saying cycle of violence must end
Five Aboriginal deaths in custody since June is a national emergency that needs urgent leadership, the national Aboriginal and islander legal services has said.
The death of 49-year-old Sherry Fisher-Tilberoo 10 days ago while on remand in the Brisbane watch-house is the fifth Aboriginal death in custody since June, bringing to at least 441 the number of people who have died in custody since the royal commission handed down its final report in 1991.
Sir David Garrard, one of the party’s biggest private supporters, is optimistic about Keir Starmer’s reforms
One of Labour’s most generous private donors, who dramatically quit the party over antisemitism, has signalled he is ready to rejoin in a further sign that Keir Starmer is winning back Jewish supporters.
Sir David Garrard revealed he had quit in 2018 as Labour struggled with accusations of antisemitism within the party. He said at the time that he no longer felt “any affinity or connection” with the party, adding that the Labour he joined “no longer exists”.
People in England whose cases have been refused will be given 21 days to leave UK, letter states
Thousands of asylum seekers currently accommodated in hotels are facing removal from the UK, the Home Office has announced.
A letter from the Home Office, seen by the Independent, states that evictions of refused asylum seekers will take place “with immediate effect” and charities have reported an increase in people being held in immigration detention centres.
Naming shifts to Greek letters after 21-name list is exhausted
Texas coast prepares for tropical storm Beta
So many powerful storms have formed over the Atlantic this year that for only the second time, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) has run out of names, meaning it is now naming tropical storms and hurricanes with letters from the Greek alphabet.
There are 21 names available each year. The list ends with those beginning with W and excludes Q, U, X, Y and Z. Once that list is exhausted, the nomenclature system switches to the Greek alphabet.
Former addict praised for setting up safe space for injecting in city dubbed Europe’s drug deaths capital
It’s lunchtime on a sunny Friday and there are two queues on Glasgow’s Parnie Street. At Street Level Photoworks gallery, one group waits to enter an exhibition of the work of Oscar Marzaroli, famous for photographing the city’s postwar working classes amid social upheaval and division. Opposite, a line forms outside a white Ford Transit van emblazoned with “Safe Consumption” as some of the city centre’s drug-dependent population wait for access to take illegal drugs.
“It’s a lifesaver,” says one visitor to the van, which is kitted out with sterile seat and table covers, needle bins, injecting kits and Naloxone, used to reverse the effects of overdose. “Without it I’d be using a dirty alley and stepping all over broken glass and old needles.”
Artist Annalee Daviswas walking in fields once used for sugarcane in her Barbados homeland when she spotted unfamiliar plants. “I was taught to see them as weeds but now I understand their value offering biodiversity to exhausted land and their historical use in bush medicine.” Davis started pressing and using specially mixed Victorian paint to draw these plants on old plantation ledger pages. Colonialism wiped out Barbados’s biodiversity in the 17th century by replacing local vegetation with the monoculture of intensively farmed fields of sugarcane, but wild plants are proliferating again. The series is now on show at Haarlem Artspace, Derbyshire, until 11 October as part of re:rural. “I want to use the plants to learn to listen to the land in another way and acknowledge its trauma,” she says.
The retailer is eyeing a more online future. But as the last big department store standing, could it expand in the real world?
Twinkling lights are just visible behind screens where staff are putting the finishing touches to this year’s Christmas displays, but in other parts of the shop, the lights are still off. John Lewis’s flagship store in Oxford Street, central London, is bearing the scars of the pandemic.
A restaurant and cafe are closed and there are more staff than customers on the furnishings floor. The fashion floor is also a depressing sight, with tags flagging big discounts on racks of unwanted dresses and officewear. Last week it emerged John Lewis had applied for planning permission to convert entire floors of this shop into office space. It’s not hard to see why.
The epidemiologist whose modelling helped shape Britain’s coronavirus lockdown strategy has said new restrictions will be needed in England “sooner rather than later” if the government is to prevent infections surging again.
Prof Neil Ferguson, who resigned from the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said the country was facing a “perfect storm” after controls were eased over summer.
Fears that young people have ‘lost the discipline of learning’ add to students’ money worries as part-time jobs dry up
Record numbers of young people in the UK are starting a university course this autumn, with many anxious to escape a collapsing employment market. But as students embark on a very different university experience, vice-chancellors are worried that many may not last the year.
Universities are reporting unprecedented pressure on their student hardship funds, after the abrupt loss of thousands of part-time student jobs in bars, restaurants and shops as a result of the pandemic. They fear students will be much less able to cope with the demands of their course if they are preoccupied with serious worries about paying for food or rent.
The aftermath of the fire at the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, protests in Louisville and Portland, migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and the enduring impact of Covid-19: the most striking images from around the world
Engagement with anti-vaccine posts on a sample of UK Facebook pages trebled between July and August, analysis by the Guardian has found, triggering calls for a major new push to tackle conspiracy theories.
Interactions on posts expressing scepticism or hostility towards vaccines on six UK Facebook pages increased from 12,000 in July to 42,000 in August, according to the analysis, conducted using the social media analytics tool CrowdTangle.
The supreme court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, arguably the single most important female lawyer in the history of the American republic, has died from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. She was 87 years old.
Appointed by Bill Clinton in 1993, Ginsburg was a stalwart of the court’s liberal bloc, which Donald Trump appears now to have the opportunity to confine to a minority for a generation.
Later nicknamed RBG, Ginsburg was an icon, especially for women, and provided an essential vote in watershed rulings that combatted gender discrimination and protected abortion rights, equal pay, civil liberties and privacy rights.
Good Law Project says plans ignore scientific evidence and break value-for-money rules
The UK government is facing legal action over Boris Johnson’s “moonshot” project, which could involve up to ?100bn being spent on an attempt to increase Covid-19 testing capacity to 10m per day.
The health secretary, Matt Hancock, and the minister for the Cabinet Office, Michael Gove, are named in a case that alleges the project, as described in leaked papers, is unlawful because it ignores scientific evidence, involves potentially huge private contracts that may not have been tendered and breaks the government’s own value-for-money rules.
Marking the 15-year anniversary of the New London Architecture galleries, the Changing Face of London revisits its 2005 exhibition to capture the transformation of the city’s famous landmarks. Aerial photographer Jason Hawkes talks us through his images
I have been photographing aerial views over London from helicopters for more than 25 years. I first flew in the capital when I was 22, and looking at images from then it is incredible how much some areas have changed.
We normally fly at an altitude of 750ft to 2,450ft. Things used to be a little more relaxed, which is why for instance the Battersea image from 15 years ago was shot from a much lower height than when I redid it last week.
Battersea power station, River Thames, Battersea and Pimlico, 2005 and 2020
We would like to hear about experiences of prisons in the UK during the coronavirus pandemic
Prisons went into highly restrictive lockdowns earlier this year in attempts to prevent coronavirus transmission. While some have been opening up and relaxing the measures, which included prisoners spending much longer in their cells and bans on visits from relatives and friends, others still have restrictions on regular prison life.
We would like to hear from people in prisons, including staff, inmates and visitors, about what it has been like, and what the future holds.
In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, the former model Amy Dorris talked to Lucy Osborne about allegations that Donald Trump sexually assaulted her at the US Open tennis tournament more than two decades ago, in an alleged incident that left her feeling ‘sick’ and ‘violated’
Guardian journalist Lucy Osborne talks to Anushka Asthana about her interview with Amy Dorris, a former model, who has come forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her at the US Open tennis tournament more than two decades ago, in an alleged incident that left her feeling “sick” and “violated”. In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Amy Dorris alleged that Trump accosted her outside the bathroom in his VIP box at the tournament in New York on 5 September 1997. Dorris, who was 24 at the time, accuses Trump of forcing his tongue down her throat, assaulting her all over her body and holding her in a grip she was unable to escape from. Lawyers for Trump have denied in the strongest possible terms that he ever harassed, abused or behaved improperly toward Doris.
Lucy discusses how the alleged incident fits within a wider pattern of alleged abuse that Trump has been accused of by 25 other women. Lucy discusses the impact speaking out has had on these women and why Amy has decided to tell her story. “My girls are about to turn 13 years old, and I want them to know that you don’t let anybody do anything to you that you don’t want,” she has said. “And I’d rather be a role model. I want them to see that I didn’t stay quiet, that I stood up to somebody who did something that was unacceptable.”
We want to hear from people living and working in the north-east about how coronavirus restrictions will impact them
New restrictions on social contact between households across parts of the north-east of England including Newcastle, Northumberland, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead, County Durham and Sunderland have been imposed in an attempt to curb rising coronavirus cases. A 10pm curfew on pubs and bars is also expected to be introduced.
We want to hear from local people, schools and business about their experiences. We’re interested in hearing from those who are working directly with the pandemic, whether it’s with the NHS or local test and trace.
Amy Dorris alleges she was sexually assaulted by Donald Trump in 1997, when she was 24. Speaking publicly about the alleged incident for the first time, the former model claims Trump grabbed her as she came out of the bathroom of his VIP box at the US Open tennis event, forced his tongue down her throat and held her in a grip from which she could not escape. Trump's lawyers said he denied in the strongest possible terms having ever harassed, abused or behaved improperly toward Dorris
The PM has been attempting to quell disquiet on several fronts, says the Guardian’s Jessica Elgot, with backbench Conservative MPs rebelling over the government’s latest Brexit plans, Covid-19 restrictions and a series of damaging U-turns
When the cabinet minister Brandon Lewis was asked in the House of Commons whether a new bill designed to regulate trade within the UK after Brexit would break international law, he confirmed it would in a ‘limited and specific way’. The comments ignited a firestorm within his party as backbenchers and grandees tore into the government for threatening to damage the UK’s reputation for respecting the rule of law.
As the Guardian’s deputy political editor, Jessica Elgot, tells Anushka Asthana, it is not the only source of disquiet within the party. Some MPs are furious at new restrictions aimed at slowing the spread of Covid-19 that restrict gatherings to six people. Others are exasperated at a summer of repeated U-turns and stories of incompetence.
Guardian US reporter Kenya Evelyn travels home to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of the most segregated cities in the country to find out what Joe Biden and the Democratic party can do to truly earn the votes of Black Americans.
Democrats dealt Milwaukee another economic blow by moving their national convention online, crushing Black residents already feeling the brunt of a national crisis. They’re fed up, calling out racial inequality and a party some say ignores their issues until it’s time to vote. From generations of moderate elders leaving their legacy, to their young, progressive peers taking to the streets, Black Milwaukeeans are using the power of their voices and votes to demand change
Luke Harding says alleged attack on Russian opposition figure has all the hallmarks of a state-sponsored hit
Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition figure, was onboard a flight from Siberia on 20 August when he was taken seriously ill. After an emergency landing in Omsk, he spent two days being treated by Russian doctors, who ruled out poisoning in public statements. But following transfer to a hospital in Berlin, authorities in Germany revealed that he had in fact been poisoned with novichok, the same substance used in the 2018 attack on the Skripals in Salisbury, UK.
The Guardian’s Luke Harding tells Anushka Asthana the alleged attack on Navalny has all the hallmarks of a state-sponsored hit. But as Navalny appears to be slowly recovering from the incident, western leaders have been quick to demand answers from Russia. There are even calls for Germany to cancel the prestigious Nord Stream 2 pipeline in retaliation
Thousands of Belarusians have defied beatings and arrests to demand the resignation of the country's authoritarian leader, Alexander Lukashenko, after he claimed victory in an election they say was rigged. Protesters have flooded Belarus's capital, Minsk, every week for a month to call for new, free and fair elections, as well as an end to police violence. But Lukashenko has held on with the support of the police and military. Can the protesters topple the man often called Europe's last dictator?
Amateur weightlifter Poorna Bell knows how transformative exercise can be – and is on a mission to help other women discover their version of strong
There are many steps that led me from the gym treadmill to lifting 130kg of iron on a weightlifting platform, but most likely it started around four years ago, when I was moving house. My husband, Rob, had passed away suddenly 12 months previously, and he had always done the heavy lifting when we moved. I had loved the fact that he was strong, but I hadn’t recognised that I was perpetuating old tropes that being strong was different for men and women: for men, it was rooted in physicality; for women, it was about mental endurance.
Gyms and yoga studios are not always as open to all shapes, sizes and identities as they could be, so these five influencers and activists set out to create more welcoming and body-positive experiences
The boom in wellness over the past decade has helped the fitness industry create a more inclusive atmosphere, but there’s still some way to go before it can be considered truly diverse. The sense of not belonging means that for some people the idea of feeling good in their bodies is more aspirational than achievable.
“Representation in wellness is massively important, and has a huge impact on whether people feel comfortable entering and using exercise spaces,” says Hannah Lewin, a London personal trainer who works with women but deliberately doesn’t focus on aesthetics. Lewin hears regularly from prospective clients who want to feel the benefits of exercise but are intimidated because they don’t conform to the images they see on Instagram, in the media and in advertising.
Qelbinur Sidik, who was coerced to teach Mandarin at two of China's Uighur 're-education' camps, has described what she witnessed there as well as her own forced sterilisation at the age of 50.
As part of a government campaign to suppress the birth rates of women from Muslim minorities, Sidik says women between the ages of 18 and 59 were told they must have intrauterine devices (IUDs) fitted or undergo sterilisation.
Sidik worked as a teacher in two camps where she says she saw starvation rations and unsanitary and humiliating conditions, including limited access to bathrooms and water. She also heard the screams of tortured prisoners and witnessed at least one inmate being carried out dead.
In the second centre where she worked, which held mostly young women, a trusted colleague told her that rape of inmates by Chinese guards was routine
Comedian Wendy Wason has discovered that exercise is the answer to everything from osteoarthritis to a bladder that no longer does as it’s told
As you get older, exercise becomes more of a requirement, both for mental health and for your body. In his book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Haruki Murakami mentions how grateful he is that he has to run to keep weight off. One side-effect is that he has a healthy heart but, he notes, many naturally skinny people don’t have the same impetus to exercise so miss out on the many benefits. That’s a brilliant observation.
The transfer window can be a time of huge excitement or heartbreak for football fans across the world. Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano, who prides himself on being the first to break the latest transfer rumours, shares his insight into what it is like to work during the transfer window, his unusual sleeping pattern and the challenges Covid-19 have presented to closing a deal
Since 2016 residents in Southall have questioned whether the gases released from the redevelopment of an old gasworks site could be damaging their health. We followed them for a year as they grow their campaign group, question the authorities and demand to know if the increased air pollution from the site could have put them at greater risk during the coronavirus pandemic
Embracing the wetter, wilder side of exercise is nothing to be ashamed of, says a dedicated distance runner
The last time I ran a half-marathon, it looked like I’d been down a log flume. My father had signed me up for the race while I was still eight months pregnant. By his calculation that gave me a cool six months between pushing an entire human infant out of my body and then running 13.1 entire miles around my hometown in full public view.
There has been massive upheaval in the world of work over the past four months. What can we learn going forward? Iman Amrani speaks to Guardian readers about travelling less, dealing with childcare, what working from home is really like, and how they're feeling about a changed workplace