The Guardian

  • The beast is back: Easter snow warning for UK as third cold snap nears

    Met Office forecasts freezing temperatures as Britain enters another spring cold spell

    Snow and freezing weather could return to parts of the UK in time for Easter if the “beast from the east” returns for a third appearance.

    The Met Office said a white Easter in Scotland and the east coast of England was increasingly likely, with cold air from Scandinavia expected to envelop the country from the middle of next week.

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  • Democracy dies without transparency and fairness | Observer editorial
    Our new exposé raises issues that should concern those who believe in open and transparent democracy

    The concept of democracy is based on high principle, refined by centuries of political theory. But democracy is at its most observable in the processes required to sustain it; the everyday – and sometimes mundane – safeguards needed to protect free and fair elections, freedom of speech and association, and minority rights. The Observer’s report last week on how Cambridge Analytica used data harvested from millions of Facebook profiles to influence voter behaviour posed new questions about how those democratic processes can be protected in a new information age, in which data, not just money, is the powerful currency that determines whether elections are won or lost. Closer to home, our new exposé by Carole Cadwalladr this week features allegations that Vote Leave may have manipulated electoral law to get around the spending limits set by the Electoral Commission for the EU referendum.

    Related: Revealed: Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team may have breached spending limits

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  • PSG hold talks with Antonio Conte’s representatives over summer move
    • Ligue 1 champions-elect willing to offer Conte £10m a season
    • Unai Emery certain to leave after failing to impress in Europe

    Paris Saint-Germain have opened talks with Antonio Conte’s representatives in an attempt to convince the Italian to leave Chelsea this summer.

    The French club are certain to part company with Unai Emery at the end of the season when his contract expires, and Conte is one of four managers the PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, is considering as a replacement. José Mourinho, Diego Simeone and Massimiliano Allegri are the other three.

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  • Bryan Cranston: ‘I’m a mutt. I relate to that. It’s what I am’
    The actor has put Breaking Bad behind him, earning rave reviews in Network at the National Theatre. But next it’s a dog’s life with Wes Anderson

    Californian actor Bryan Cranston, 62, is best known for his Emmy-winning portrayal of Breaking Bad’s antihero Walter White. His film roles include Trumbo, for which he was Oscar-nominated. He’s currently starring in Network at the National Theatre and the new Wes Anderson animation, Isle of Dogs.

    You’re playing news anchor Howard Beale in the stage production of Network. How’s it going?
    Really well. It’s about to finish but I’ve enjoyed my time in London. The play is very prescient about fake news and how we’re in trouble if television falls into the wrong hands. It’s amazing how 42 years ago, [screenwriter] Paddy Chayefsky was able to see into the future.

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  • James Doyle jockeys’ title hopes in focus after Addeybb’s Lincoln win
    • William Haggas aiming to use Doyle as a regular rider
    • Seeyouatmidnight finishes third and qualifies for Grand National

    James Doyle rode the well-backed Addeybb to win the Lincoln, the first big race of the new Flat season, and acknowledged he now has enough support to be considered a runner for the title of champion jockey. This was a victory for the jockey’s link with the Newmarket trainer William Haggas, which is still in its early stages but proving fruitful.

    “We’re trying to build a relationship with James,” Haggas said. “He’s contracted to Godolphin but he didn’t seem to be used much by them last year. We’re trying to get a jockey who will ride regularly and will be able to ride in the better races.

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  • Don’t mock the ‘hapless’ Brexiters – they are still pulling all the strings | Nick Cohen

    Ukip is dead but Nigel Farage remains the most significant politician since Margaret Thatcher, his influence everywhere

    It’s easy to laugh at Britain’s unpopular populists. Ukip is dead. Farage has been reduced to being a minor radio personality in Britain and a down-the-bill warm-up act in Trump country. As for the supposedly serious Brexiters, the Observer’s revelations will surely discredit the Vote Leave crew, assuming they have any credit left to diss, that is.

    Related: Revealed: Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team may have breached spending limits

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  • Revealed: the ties that bind Canadian data firm AIQ to Leave campaign in EU referendum

    Role of remote data affiliate raises questions over relationship between Brexit groups

    Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team may have breached spending limits

    Cambridge Analytica has undisclosed links to the Canadian digital firm AggregateIQ that played a pivotal role in the official Vote Leave campaign in 2016, which was headed by the environment secretary Michael Gove and the foreign secretary Boris Johnson, the Observer has learned.

    Christopher Wylie, the former Cambridge Analytica employee turned whistleblower, has revealed that as well as playing a part in setting up the firm – which is now facing increasing scrutiny from investigators on both sides of the Atlantic over its role in harvesting Facebook data – he was also a central figure in setting up AIQ, which accounted for 40% of Vote Leave’s campaign budget.

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  • Labour seeks cross-party consensus on Irish border Brexit deal

    Pro-EU MPs could join forces to ensure law states there will be no infrastructure on Irish border

    Labour is seeking to build cross-party consensus in parliament behind plans that will enshrine into law a promise not to have any infrastructure, customs posts or cameras on the border of Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit.

    The plan, which will be announced on Sunday by shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer, would force the government to honour what is to date only a political commitment to avoid a hard border solution, once the UK leaves the EU in a year’s time.

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  • Maro Itoje back on form as Saracens ease past sluggish Harlequins
    • Saracens 24-11 Harlequins
    • Itoje had his say on possible fatigue with sleeping try celebration

    England’s struggle this season has as ever, generated debate about the fault line in the professional game in a country where the first loyalty of players is not to their national team but their employers, the clubs. Eddie Jones has been accused of flogging his squad in training, but the only time he has control over his charges is during international windows, and a couple of camps outside. On the evidence of this slow-paced encounter, it is nowhere near enough.

    Every round of the Premiership supplies evidence that the club game, lacking the fluidity, pace and intensity Jones believes will be required to have a chance of winning the World Cup, is not serving England. It was not set up to, as the Saracens chairman, Nigel Wray, who has been involved since the beginning of professionalism, reminded those who read his programme notes.

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  • Revealed: Brexit insider claims Vote Leave team may have breached spending limits

    Whistleblower alleges that electoral spending rules could have been manipulated over controversial donation and that Vote Leave ‘tried to delete key evidence’

    The Observer view: democracy dies without transparency and fairness

    A whistleblower who worked for the official Vote Leave campaign has broken cover to raise concerns that the masterminds behind the 2016 vote – including key figures now working for Theresa May in Downing Street – may have flouted referendum spending rules and then attempted to destroy evidence.

    The allegations, from former volunteer Shahmir Sanni, are detailed in an interview in the Observer and supported by a mass of documents and files that he has passed to the Electoral Commission and the police.

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  • Boat Race 2018: Cambridge beat Oxford in men’s and women’s races
    • Cambridge men power to victory, 10 seconds clear of Oxford
    • Cambridge women claim first back-to-back wins since 1999

    Cambridge enjoyed a clean sweep in the Boat Race with both the men and women cruising to victory on the Thames.

    In cool, still conditions in west London Cambridge’s talented men’s team piled on the pressure by opening up a huge gap over their rivals very early in the race and Oxford could not respond, finishing around 10 seconds behind.

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  • Book clinic: recommended books about the best of humanity
    From a redemptive tale set in Norfolk to classic Michael Frayn, our expert selects books that are funny and inspiring

    Q: I am fed up with so many books and TV programmes being about horrible people doing horrible things to other people. Can you suggest something funny or inspiring or both, which is also a page-turner and well written, that is about the best of humanity, not the worst? Never without a book, I am in my early 60s, live in London, work on a website and want to feel more cheerful about the world. Anonymous

    A: Observer writer and critic Kate Kellaway

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  • Unseen photographs of Beatles in US fetch £253,200 at auction

    Teenager Mike Mitchell took photos of band in Baltimore and Washington DC in 1964

    A teenage portfolio of more than 350 previously unseen photos of The Beatles’ early invasion of America has fetched £253,200 at auction on Merseyside.

    The photographer Mike Mitchell’s images show the band arriving in 1964 for their first concerts in the States at Washington DC and Baltimore. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, who was knighted this week, are also shown at pre-show press conferences and on stage.

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  • Kit de Waal: ‘I read my first novel aged 22’

    The novelist on her Irish heritage, the passing of time and why she’s glad she didn’t start young

    Kit de Waal’s bestselling debut novel, My Name Is Leon, was shortlisted for numerous awards, including the Desmond Elliott prize and the Costa first novel award. Born in Birmingham to an Irish mother and a Caribbean father, she worked in criminal and family law for 15 years before becoming a writer. Her new novel, The Trick to Time, is published by Viking on 29 March (£12.99).

    Your new novel is about a young couple of Irish immigrants in Birmingham, Mona and Will, and a tragedy that tears them apart. What came to you first: the characters or their heartbreaking situation?
    Mona came first. Characters always do for me. It was getting to know her that gave me the story; it was driven by her identity and her history. I wanted to write something about my Irish heritage. I wanted to talk about my mother’s generation moving here from Ireland and explore the dislocation they felt when they first came, how quickly they were assimilated into the culture while never actually becoming British. The Irish very much remain Irish wherever they are. My grandmother, honestly, you would never have thought she left the fields of Wexford.

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  • Kremlin denies claim Sergei Skripal asked Putin for pardon

    Friend of poisoned ex-spy says he asked Russian president for permission to visit his family

    The Kremlin has denied a claim that the poisoned former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal wrote to Vladimir Putin asking to be pardoned and to be allowed to visit his home country.

    The former Russian intelligence officer, who came to Britain in 2010 as part of a spy swap, regretted being a double agent and wanted to visit his family, his friend Vladimir Timoshkov told the BBC.

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  • Thousands join March for Our Lives anti-gun protests around the world

    Hundreds of thousands of students have joined anti-gun March for Our Lives rallies across the US in one of the largest expressions of popular opposition in the modern era.

    Related: 'We want our voices to be heard': March for Our Lives protesters in their own words

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  • Passengers stranded in Stuttgart as pilot found drunk before takeoff

    Copilot on TAP Air Portugal flight to Lisbon said to be ‘reeking of alcohol and walking unsteadily’

    More than 100 passengers have been stranded at Stuttgart airport after a co-pilot was found drunk in the cockpit just before takeoff.

    The airline, TAP Air Portugal, apologised after having to cancel the flight “due to the pilot’s incapacity”.

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  • Steve Smith admits to Australia ball-tampering plan against South Africa
    • ‘It was the players and the leadership group that came up with this’
    • Small yellow object seen in Bancroft’s hands after working on ball

    Australia captain Steve Smith has admitted that his side deliberately tried to tamper with the condition of the ball on the third day of the third Test against South Africa at Newlands on Saturday in an orchestrated attempt to gain an advantage.

    Cameron Bancroft has been charged by the International Cricket Council and Smith told reporters that it was a deliberate plan from the “leadership group” of the side, but added he would not step down as captain. “The leadership group knew about it, we spoke about it at lunch,” Smith said. “I am not proud of what has happened. It’s not in the spirit of the game, my integrity and the integrity of the team has been damaged and rightfully so. It’s not on and it won’t happen again, I can promise you.”

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  • I Heart Posters: the graphic design of Milton Glaser – in pictures

    Cave paintings, thinks Milton Glaser, are the earliest posters. “Those images create reactions today with the same potency they must have had when they were made. It’s extraordinary that this form of communication has existed all through history.” The celebrated US graphic designer – whose work includes the I Heart NY design – has created countless posters, 450 of which are collected in a new book.

    Some have taken on a life of their own: “People send me the strangest examples of ‘I Heart’,” he says, “for example, in a hut in a small African village.” A good poster, he says, needs to communicate effectively, be persuasive, and attract attention. But there’s a distinction between graphic design and art: “graphic design is now basically an adjunct of capitalism. Art is a means of examining reality freshly with open eyes.”

    Milton Glaser Posters (Abrams Books, £22.99) is published on 27 March. To order a copy for £19.54 go to or call 0330 333 6846

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  • Ones to watch: Goat Girl
    These fearless London post-punkers rage against modern Britain, from public transport to mental health, on their self-assured debut

    “I’m disgusting, I’m a shame to this so-called human race,” sings Clottie Cream on Country Sleaze, one half of the 2016 double A-side debut single by Goat Girl. The flipside, Scum, pondered: “How can an entire nation be so fucking thick?” A bracing introduction to the disaffected, often damning eye that the young London four-piece (Clottie, Rosy Bones on drums, LED on guitar and Naima Jelly on bass) cast over their world before documenting it in rambunctious, idiosyncratic post-punk. “British people are overly polite, which staggers progress,” they told Beat magazine. “We need to talk more openly about sex, religion and mental health. We are human, after all.”

    Fearless, omnivorous Goat Girl (named in reference to Bill Hicks’s lusty alter ego, Goat Boy) found each other, and their sound, in Brixton indie venue the Windmill, signing to Rough Trade (over Domino and XL)two years ago before releasing anything. Taking their time and choosing the right home has served them well – their eponymous debut sounds self-assured: 19 songs crafted with care, in which dirty grunge riffs take strange left turns.

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  • Gendarme who swapped place with hostages hailed a hero in France
    Tributes pour in for Lt Col Arnaud Beltrame who died of injuries after walking into siege in Trèbes

    Even by the high standards of duty and self-sacrifice expected of professional soldiers and police officers the world over, the courage of Lt Col Arnaud Beltrame was extraordinary.

    By offering to swap places with hostages held by a terrorist gunman who had already killed three people and had declared his allegiance to Islamic State (Isis), the decorated officer would have known he was almost certainly walking to his death.

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  • No bride, no groom, I do: Montana’s proxy weddings on film

    US state allows marriages in which neither party is actually there, explored in documentary Absent from Our Own Wedding

    For some nervous betrothed couples a proxy marriage might sound too good to be true: if there really were such an easy way to avoid the stress and fuss of a wedding ceremony, surely everyone would do it?

    But marriages in which neither the bride nor groom are present happen all the time, and not only in countries with very different customs and laws to Britain.

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  • London tenants to protest at auction of social flats worth £7.2m

    Accusations of social cleansing as housing associations and councils sell to private sector

    Tenants opposed to the social cleansing of city centres will protest outside an auction at a luxury hotel where property developers and private landlords will bid for £7.2m worth of former social flats and houses.

    Nearly one in 10 of the lots, which are being auctioned by leading estate agent Savills at the Marriott hotel in London’s Grosvenor Square on Monday, are former social housing, with 14 lots being sold by housing associations and six by councils.

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  • When the media tries too hard to 'appeal to both sides', integrity is lost | Jessica Valenti

    The Atlantic’s attempt at representing a ‘broad spectrum of views’ indicates a serious moral crisis in mainstream media

    The Week in Patriarchy is a weekly roundup of what’s happening in the world of feminism and sexism. If you’re not already receiving it by email, make sure to subscribe.

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  • Paloma Faith: ‘Kindness has become very uncool. But the world needs empathy right now’

    The singer, 36, talks about being a shy child, how her mother taught her about empathy and why life is all about phases

    Motherhood is the best and the worst thing I’ll ever do. The beginning is awful. Your body gets turned inside out and there’s no gratitude for it afterwards. But after six months, it’s the most amazing thing. I have a problem with breastfeeding though. Your child won’t even look at you. It’s so rude. They don’t look at you adoringly. They’re just: “Shut up, bitch, give me your tit.”

    I was a very insular and shy child. Every extrovert is a closet introvert. When I was 15 I decided I’d had enough of being manipulated by other people and being what other people wanted me to be, and I decided to change everything. I’d accept invites to parties I wouldn’t have had before. I’d volunteer for stuff in class I hadn’t before. It was a conscious effort. I felt like I was dying inside. I had to force it, but then it became very natural.

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  • 'People here believe all journalists are biased': reporting from Putin's Russia

    Outgoing correspondent Shaun Walker discusses the challenges of covering Moscow, and his hopes for his new beat – Budapest

    Shaun Walker spent over a decade reporting from Moscow and has recently written a book about the Putin era and the search for a new Russian identity. As he prepares to start a new life as the Guardian’s central and eastern Europe correspondent, he reflects on his years in the country

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  • Glasgow launches bid for new Channel 4 headquarters

    Moving HQ to Scotland would give clear signal that Channel 4 is for all of UK, supporters say

    Glasgow is making a play to become the new headquarters for Channel 4 with the support of Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister.

    The city’s audacious challenge to rivals such as Birmingham, Liverpool, Cardiff and Manchester is being backed by senior Scottish television executives as well as Channel 4’s former head of nations and regions Stuart Cosgrove.

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  • From Luke Shaw to Marc Albrighton: 10 underrated Premier League players | Nick Miller

    Not every top-flight player gets the plaudits they deserve – here we have a look at some of those who fly under the radar

    At various points during their title-winning season, praise was shared around the Leicester side. Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kanté and Riyad Mahrez were the obvious ones, Wes Morgan, Danny Drinkwater and Kasper Schmeichel got their plaudits too, but Marc Albrighton went under the radar. And so he still does, despite his game improving further since then. What is particularly impressive about Albrighton, aside from his tireless work rate and fizzing delivery from the flanks, is that his performance levels do not seem to drop whether he is playing on the right or left, wing or wing-back, or wherever he’s asked to play.

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  • An 'unqualified lesbian' like Cynthia Nixon is just what New York needs | Arwa Mahdawi

    When I first heard about Cynthia Nixon’s foray into politics her queer qualifications weren’t the first thing on my mind. That soon changed...

    Christine Quinn would like everyone to know that Cynthia Nixon is an “unqualified lesbian”. You see Nixon, who is best known for her role in Sex and the City, hasn’t completed the training required before one can apply for a highly-coveted lesbian license. This means she has no business running for political office. The very idea is outrageous!

    Quinn, who is best known for her role as a sore loser in the 2013 New York mayor race, made these comments to the New York Post on Tuesday, shortly after Nixon announced she was going to be challenging sitting governor Andrew Cuomo in September’s Democratic primary. Cuomo, of course, is best known for his role in ensuring the New York subway remains the most dysfunctional mass transit system in the world.

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  • In the Long Run: Idris Elba's joyful portrait of community in 1980s Hackney

    With its subtle racial politics, this semi-autobiographical Brit comedy from the star of Luther and The Wire makes high art out of council-estate life

    “Good evening, sir!” shouts Valentine (Jimmy Akingbola) at a passing stranger on arrival at his new home on a London estate. “Fuck off,” comes the reply. The year is 1985, race riots are on the news, and, in this small corner of Hackney, the penny has yet to drop among some white residents that Africa is not a country.

    A labour of love for its creator and star, Idris Elba, In the Long Run tells the tale of an immigrant family making its way in Britain and is based on Elba’s own childhood. While viewers might be surprised to find the words “sitcom” and “the former Stringer Bell” in such close proximity, more remarkable is that it features a majority black cast. Not since Desmond’s and The Crouches have we seen so many black characters at the centre of a British comedy rather than residing ignominiously on the fringes as best friends and neighbours. That, in 2018, this is deemed unusual should see all senior TV commissioners forced to wear hair shirts as a public act of penance – I’m thinking a week for every series commissioned with all-white leading characters.

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  • England may need to rely on the rain until ECB gets its priorities right | Vic Marks

    If England are trounced in New Zealand Test series the ECB will come under increasing scrutiny for agreeing to this schedule

    It is taking a while for England’s batsmen to have a chance to get back in the saddle after being bowled out for a paltry 58 in their first innings. On Friday and Saturday there were just 26 overs of cricket at Eden Park and those batsmen dutifully shuffled around the field, no doubt noting that the ball was not jagging around quite so deviously as on Thursday afternoon and wondering whether they might do a bit better when their next chance comes along.

    All this rain could be construed as good news for England supporters. Perhaps it was possible to spy a path out of this mess after all. It would be long and difficult and would probably require the batsmen to occupy the crease about six or seven times longer than they managed on Thursday. But survival was now a possibility. The batting coach, Graham Thorpe, acknowledged on Saturday evening “the weather gives us a glimmer”.

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  • ‘What’s the point of a risk-free life?’ – Deborah Levy on starting again at 50

    At 50, two decades of stable family life fell apart. In this extract from her memoir, the novelist recalls finding strength in the chaos – and a new voice

    As Orson Welles told us, if we want a happy ending, it depends on where we stop the story. One January night I was eating coconut rice and fish in a bar on Colombia’s Caribbean coast. A tanned, tattooed American man sat at the table next to me. He was in his late 40s, big muscled arms, his silver hair pinned into a bun. He was talking to a young English woman, perhaps 19 years old, who had been sitting on her own reading a book, but after some ambivalence had taken up his invitation to join him. At first he did all the talking. After a while she interrupted him.

    Her conversation was interesting, intense and strange. She was telling him about scuba diving in Mexico, how she had been underwater for 20 minutes and then surfaced to find there was a storm. The sea had become a whirlpool and she had been anxious about making it back to the boat. Although her story was about surfacing from a dive to discover the weather had changed, it was also about some sort of undisclosed hurt. She gave him a few clues about that (there was someone on the boat who she thought should have come to save her) and then she glanced at him to check if he knew that she was talking about the storm in a disguised way.

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  • Killer kids: why do children make the most magnetic villains?

    From the horror classics to TV’s End of the F***ing World and Toni Collette’s new film Hereditary, children are a locus of anxiety during times of upheaval

    Kids, huh? They say the darnedest things, they look at the world with fresh eyes and then, once every decade or so, you remember they can be murderers.

    Related: Hereditary trailer: will this be the year's scariest movie?

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  • Why I fell in love with Slovenia

    Love was in the air the moment US writer Noah Charney set foot in Ljubljana. And after he met his future wife, there was a whole country to get passionate about, with dramatic landscapes, curious traditions and great food

    Back in 2000, as an American student studying in London, I embarked on a Eurorail trip – a sort of smorgasbord of travel in European cities. You buy an open ticket that allows you to travel indefinitely by train throughout Europe. But prior to my own Eurorailing adventure, I’d lent my Lonely Planet: Europe on a Shoestring to five friends who had already been on such a trip, asking them to add notes, suggestions, annotations. All five, without colluding, said Slovenia’s Lake Bled was the single most beautiful place they had seen in Europe.

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  • Canada: how a pipeline engineer got arrested in anti-pipeline protests

    Two federal MPs among more than 100 people arrested challenging 1,000km line

    One of Romilly Cavanaugh’s first jobs was an environmental engineering position at the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries crude and refined oil across western Canada.

    Two decades later, Cavanaugh was arrested for blocking the entrance of a facility belonging to her former employer, as part of a wider protest against plans to expand a pipeline snaking from Alberta’s oil sands to the Pacific coast.

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  • Q&A: Patrisse Khan-Cullors: ‘My favourite word? Freedom’

    The activist on police violence, human cruelty and the Black Panther party

    Born in Los Angeles, Patrice Khan-Cullors, 34, became an activist at 16. In 2012, she gained a religion and philosophy degree, toured her first performance art piece, Stained: An Intimate Portrayal Of State Violence, and founded Dignity And Power Now. In 2013, she co-founded Black Lives Matter. Her memoir, When They Call You A Terrorist, was published earlier this year. She is married to Janaya Khan, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Canada, and lives in Los Angeles.

    When were you happiest?
    In elementary school. I loved learning.

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  • Meera Sodha’s vegan recipe for Jamaican Easter buns

    These raisin-studded buns are packed with spice and make a welcome Easter alternative to chocolate

    In 1592, Queen Elizabeth forbade bakeries in England to make any spiced buns except for burials, Easter Friday or at Christmas. Some say she did so because they were too special to be eaten all year round. In Jamaica, however, no such law was ever decreed, so for hundreds of years they’ve eaten these delicious spiced buns as and when they wished, sometimes with a little stout thrown in for good measure. They may not have the royal seal of approval, but they have mine.

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  • Eradicating poverty would dramatically reduce TB cases, study finds

    Preventative measures, like poverty reduction, could be just as effective in tackling the disease as drugs and vaccines

    Programmes to tackle poverty could be just as effective in the fight against tuberculosis as medicines and vaccines, research has found.

    Eradicating extreme poverty would lead to an 84% reduction in TB cases by 2035, according to a report published to coincide with World Tuberculosis Day on Saturday.

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  • Can we all just stop banging on about diversity in films? | Romesh Ranganathan

    A Wrinkle in Time is an important moment for women of colour but the incessant fanfare undermines its significance

    Ava DuVernay, director of A Wrinkle In Time, spoke on the red carpet at the London premiere about how important the film was because of the diversity of the cast and crew, because the main protagonist is female and because it is part of the desire to bring a more diverse range of storytellers to the fore. Mindy Kaling, who is in the film, described DuVernay as a “movement”, and Time magazine wrote about how the movie will change Hollywood.

    Reviews suggest the film is dreadful. It has a 40% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Guardian’s Amy Nicholson gave it two stars, and one of those stars was purely for what Oprah did to her eyebrows. I can feel you getting annoyed with me. “What’s the matter, Romesh, are you against diversity? Are you delighted that the patriarchy has been reinforced by the failure of a film with a female protagonist?” Well, no.

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  • Yotam Ottolenghi’s Easter recipes

    An indulgent Easter menu of slow-cooked lamb, chocolate-orange monkey bread and a sweet, cheesy dessert

    Like many other religious festivals, with their food traditions that stand on very feeble historical legs, Easter is, for me, simply an excuse to eat things I wouldn’t normally indulge in. Chocolate-soaked bread? I’ll have that as a morning snack. A rich shoulder of lamb with lots of lemon and mint? That’ll be my main. And for dessert? A Middle Eastern cheesy bake soaked in cardamom sugar syrup. Feel free to pick and choose when you’re doing the big shop for next weekend, but I’ll be having the lot. Happy Easter.

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  • Adwoa Aboah wears spring/summer 2018 Burberry – in pictures

    The face of the year models checks, rainbows and graffiti prints from designer Christopher Bailey’s last collection for the label

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  • 'I'm just not snobby': how Christopher Bailey restyled Burberry

    As the designer stands down after 17 years, he explains how he turned an ailing raincoat maker – with a reputation for ‘chav check’ – into one of the world’s biggest luxury brands

    Adwoa Aboah models his final collection here

    In fashion, serious players tend to adopt outlandish characters. Karl Lagerfeld is the mischievous time traveller, with his powdered 18th-century pompadour and solid gold Apple watch. Alexander McQueen played the tattooed bad boy. Anna Wintour, with her titanium bob and poker face, is the sphinx of the front row. But Christopher Bailey is the most unsettling fashion luminary I have dealt with. Bailey, who leaves Burberry this month after 17 years, is the most successful British fashion designer of his generation, with a trophy cabinet full of industry awards, an MBE and a salary big enough to make business page headlines.

    Bailey’s shtick is that he is normal. Bailey is nice. Not nice as in lethally charming, or nice as in seductively conspiratorial, just nice as in nice. It is hard to explain how disarming this is, when you are used to operatic ego. The week before his final Burberry catwalk show, I arrive at Thomas’s cafe inside the Burberry store in London’s Regent Street 15 minutes before I am due to meet him, but he is already there, tucked in a corner banquette. He spots me, puts away his phone and jumps up to greet me with a Tiggerish bounce. “How are you? Lovely to see you! Have you had a busy day? Did you have lunch? Would you like anything to eat?” Bailey’s wholesomely sandy-haired looks give him an air, even at 46, of having just stepped out of an advert for cornflakes, or Lego, or cocoa. He is unremarkably dressed in a neatly buttoned denim shirt and dark trousers, his only accessory a plain gold wedding band.

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  • 20 Photos of the Week

    The People’s Congress, Fallas in Valencia, the Facebook data scandal, spring equinox, Newroz and spring snowfall, joy for family of Dapchi schoolgirls in Nigeria, and Usain Bolt turns his feet to football; we take a look at the week captured by the world’s best photojournalists

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  • Time for change: Anne Enright on Ireland's abortion referendum

    In the coming weeks, voters in Ireland will have the chance to repeal the eighth amendment, which recognises the equal rights to life of a foetus and the mother during pregnancy. We must send a message to the world, the author declares

    Recently I spoke to a reasonable, sane Irish woman who said that she was against abortion and because she was so reasonable and sane, I was curious what she meant by that. Was she against the morning after pill? Certainly not. What about chemical abortifacients? They did not really worry her too much. So, what about terminations before 12 or 13 weeks, the time when woman are often given the all clear to confirm their pregnancy to family and friends? This woman was not, all things considered, against terminations during this window, when pregnancy is not considered medically certain. She was also, just to make clear, in favour of abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality, rape and incest. In 1983 this woman might have voted “against abortion”, despite the fact that she is not against abortion, especially if it happens during those weeks when the natural loss of an embryo is called miscarriage. She just found abortion, in general, hard to vote “for”. Had there been no referendum in 1983 – where people with a range of uncertainties were asked for a single “yes” or “no” – then limited abortion might well be available now in Ireland, in the way that the morning after pill is legally available and widely used.

    The 1983 referendum was a little like the Brexit referendum – a population voting about something that seemed, on one side, clear, and on the other, contingent and hard to describe. As it turned out, the language problem worked both ways. In order to bring the issue to a vote, a new legal term had to be minted, one that did not appear in any previous laws. The eighth amendment to the Irish constitution acknowledges the right to life of “the unborn” and this seemed to invent a new category of rights-holder, possibly a new kind of person. By acknowledging the “equal right to life of the mother” an impregnated woman was changed from a human being into a relationship, that of motherhood, and a peculiar equivalence established. Pregnancy was a binary state, in which two souls temporarily shared the same blood supply. The question of who had it first was neither here nor there and a fertilised egg was a grown adult, temporarily inconvenienced by being a few hundred cells large.

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  • Explorer Levison Wood: ‘After my next big trip, I think I’ll go on a wife hunt’

    The explorer, writer and photographer on significant others, sleeping in caves and eating bush rat

    At home, I rise at about 7.30am, after eight hours’ sleep and at least two snoozes, but when I’m travelling, I rarely spend two nights in the same bed. I might wake in a shepherd’s hut or a cave; last week, I woke in the Jordanian desert and discovered hyena tracks nearby. I’ve had wolves, leopards and elephants loitering, and once woke up with a snake in my tent. By nightfall, I’m usually so exhausted that I spark out by 11.30pm.

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  • Weekend reading: The second coming of Frida, and a legend at 70

    Why Frida Kahlo never went out of fashion – just like the evergreen shows of Andrew Lloyd Webber

    Andrew Lloyd Webber at 70: how a ruthless perfectionist became Mr Musical

    Michael Billington on how Lord Lloyd-Webber took the British musical and turned a cottage industry into a global phenomenon – despite the curious British belief that anything truly popular can’t really be any good

    Glory days: Chatsworth renewed – in pictures

    Chatsworth House in Derbyshire has undergone its biggest restoration in 200 years. An exhibition, Chatsworth Renewed, will highlight its makeover, from rebuilding turrets to conservation of artworks

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  • Lewis Hamilton claims pole position for F1's Australian Grand Prix
    • Hamilton’s performance leaves rivals reeling
    • Kimi Raikkonen to be in second place on the grid

    Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Australian Grand Prix, with a dominant performance in Melbourne that left his rivals reeling as he and Mercedes proved their car is once again ominously strong over the single-lap discipline. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was in second place but a full six-tenths back and followed in third by the Finn’s team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

    The two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo were fourth and fifth fastest but very close to the Ferraris. Ricciardo will start from eighth, however, because he has been given a three-place grid penalty after not slowing sufficiently behind red flags during second practice on Friday. Hamilton’s team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, fared even worse, after an accident that left him unhurt but failing to record a time in Q3.

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  • Secret Teacher: we're setting dyslexic children up to feel like failures

    Pupils with dyslexia are at a disadvantage in tests, and we don’t have the resources to give them the help they need

    It is Monday morning and our year 3 literacy lesson is under way. The child I’m funded to work with is using an iPad while they have a break, watching a show aimed at helping children with additional needs develop communication skills. I walk around the classroom supporting others. We’re looking at using adjectives in Roman myths. Jenny asks how to spell “tiny”; Kearon needs the spelling for “flaming” at the same moment Behnam wants “sanctimonious”.

    John is struggling more than the others. Even if I write the word for him he rarely copies it correctly and his letters are back to front, upside down, and sometimes more a squiggle than anything else. Out of the corner of my eye I see him drawing a cartoon on the side of his page. I ask him to start writing. He strings a few words together, and then goes back to drawing. I don’t have any more time to support him because my 1:1 is ready to begin work.

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  • Anton Yelchin's family settle Jeep lawsuit over Star Trek actor's death

    Case against Fiat Chrysler Automobiles followed fatal 2016 accident when star’s own Grand Cherokee rolled on to him

    The family of the late Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin has settled a wrongful death lawsuit with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles over the rollaway crash of a Jeep Grand Cherokee that killed the up-and-coming actor.

    The actor, known for roles in Star Trek and Green Room, died in June 2016 after his Jeep Grand Cherokee rolled on to him at his home in Los Angeles. The car was under recall for problems with the gear shifter.

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  • ‘Britain seems broken now’: faces from the Brexit exodus to Europe

    The EU referendum result spurred a life-changing move to a better standard of living for these couples and families

    An increasing number of Brits disappointed and angry about the referendum result are opting to start a new life in Europe before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. They include Vishal Vora, who has quit London for Berlin and says “Britain really seems broken now”, and Liz and Gary Trow, who have relocated to France, saying that their daughter is enjoying a more multicultural environment.

    Some of the escapees have been setting up their own businesses, while others have managed to secure equivalent or even better jobs. And some have used this as a chance to make a career switch. And, rather than isolating themselves in the traditional expat enclaves, many are keen to embrace the local communities in their host countries.

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