THE GUARDIAN

28 Jan. 2023

The Scorpion unit has been deactivated after video was released of the brutal beating of the 29-year-old at the hands of officers

  • This article contains a video depicting violence

The Memphis police chief on Saturday disbanded the unit whose officers beat to death Tyre Nichols as the nation and the city struggled to come to grips with video showing police pummeling the Black motorist.

Police director Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said she listened to Nichols’ relatives, community leaders and uninvolved officers in making the decision.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Champagne flows as former general defeats billionaire populist rival Andrej Babiš by largest margin in the country’s history

Petr Pavel, a retired general and former senior Nato commander, has swept to the Czech presidency after a landslide victory over the former prime minister Andrej Babiš in an election overshadowed by rows over the war between Russia and Ukraine.

With nearly all the votes counted, returns showed Pavel prevailing by the emphatic margin of 58.3% to 41.68%, the largest ever recorded in a Czech presidential poll and reflecting an advantage of more than 958,000 votes nationwide.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Benjamin Netanyahu announces punitive steps against Palestinians in response to attacks that killed seven Israelis

Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a series of punitive steps against Palestinians in response to a pair of shootings in Jerusalem that killed seven Israelis and badly wounded five others.

The steps, announced late on Saturday, include new moves to “strengthen” Jewish settlements, the Israeli prime minister’s office said.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

New York group, which broke up in 1978, best known for Marquee Moon and whose singer-songwriter also worked with Patti Smith

Tom Verlaine, the frontman, songwriter and legendary guitar player of the New York City band Television, has died aged 73.

His death was announced by Jesse Paris Smith, the daughter of Patti Smith, who said that he died “after a brief illness”.

Continue reading...
29 Jan. 2023

• Blast recorded with defence ministry reporting minor damage

• Background of tension over nuclear pact and arms for Russia

Drones have been used to attack a military plant in Iran, with Iranian news agencies reporting a loud blast and showing a flash of light at what was said to be an ammunition factory.

Emergency vehicles and fire trucks were shown at the plant in central Isfahan province. It comes amid tensions over Iran’s nuclear programme, as well as its supply of Shahed drones to Russia that are being used in the war against Ukraine.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Speech to Republicans in New Hampshire as ex-president becomes first to hit the 2024 campaign trail

Donald Trump, the former US president, tried to get his spluttering White House bid off the launchpad on Saturday, declaring himself “more angry” than ever as he became the first candidate to hit the 2024 election campaign trail.

Trump swung through New Hampshire, which holds the first-in-the-nation Republican primary, and South Carolina, looking to shake off concerns about a lacklustre campaign and “Trump fatigue” among voters.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Whistleblower tells of threats and illegal detention in fresh revelations about failures that drove children into hands of criminals

Children seeking asylum in the UK were threatened and subjected to racist abuse by staff at a Home Office-run hotel, a whistleblower has claimed as pressure grows on the government to act over the growing crisis in the system.

The source, who worked in the Brighton hotel for more than a year, said that in such an environment of “emotional abuse”, scores of children, who had arrived in the UK without parents or a carer, were driven on to the streets and into the hands of criminals.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

PM allegedly given advice about inquiry into minister’s taxes when he appointed him Tory party chair

Rishi Sunak was told there could be a reputational risk to the government from Nadhim Zahawi’s tax affairs when he appointed him as Conservative party chair in October, sources have told the Observer.

During the period when the prime minister was drawing up his new cabinet, senior government officials gave him informal advice about the risks from an HMRC investigation that had been settled just months earlier, sources said.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Organisation clarifies initial advice, which included term in list of phrases it thought could be dehumanising

The Associated Press Stylebook, considered one of the most reliable guides to correct use of the English language for journalists, has apologised after producing a list of terms it thought could be dehumanising that included “the French”.

The organisation tweeted advice not to use generic labels for groups of people who share a single common trait, giving as examples the poor, the mentally ill and the college-educated. It also included grouping together everyone from the European nation under the same banner.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Piece acquired by English painter in antiques shop in 1960s has been confirmed as lost work by Italian sculptor

Sometimes a hunch pays off, and when the English painter John Craxton recognised a work of genius for sale in a London antiques shop, he made very much the right call.

Craxton parted with £250 for an unusual chandelier he suspected was by the great sculptor Alberto Giacometti. Now that chandelier, made in the late 1940s, may sell at Christie’s in a few weeks’ time for as much as £7m. Pieces by the revered Swiss artist are the most expensive sculptures to buy at auction, and his work regularly breaks saleroom records.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Fresh wave of Russian attacks in east and south Ukraine kill at least 10 civilians; troops locked in ‘fierce’ fighting for Donetsk town of Vugledar

A new barrage of Russian shelling has killed at least 10 Ukrainian civilians and wounded 20 others in a day, the office of Ukraine’s president has said. Regional officials said towns and villages in the east and in the south that are within reach of the Russian artillery suffered most. Six people died in the Donetsk region, two in Kherson and two in the Kharkiv region, the officials said.

A day earlier, Russian-fired missiles and self-propelled drones were reported to have hit deeper into Ukrainian territory, killing at least 11 people.

Ukrainian troops were locked in “fierce” fighting with Russian forces on Friday for control of the town of Vugledar, south-west of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine. Both sides claimed success in the small administrative centre, a short distance from the strategic prize of the village of Pavlivka, Agence France-Presse reported. “Soon, Vugledar may become a new, very important success for us,” Denis Pushilin, the Moscow-appointed leader of the Donetsk region, was quoted as saying by Russian news agencies. But Kyiv said the town remained contested.

Volodymyr Zelenskiy has described the situation on the frontline as “extremely acute”, particularly in the eastern Donetsk region, where Russia is stepping up its offensive. The Ukrainian president reported major battles for Vuhledar and Bakhmut, to the north-east. Local Ukrainian officials reported heavy shelling in the north, north-east and east.

Ukraine’s army claims to have killed 109 Russian soldiers and wounded another 188 in one day during fighting around Vuhledar. Serhii Cherevatyi, a spokesperson for the Ukrainian armed forces’ eastern operational command, said the death toll was recorded on Thursday, adding: “Fierce fighting is ongoing. The enemy is indeed trying to achieve an intermediate success there, but thanks to the efforts of our defenders, they are unsuccessful.”

Poland will send an additional 60 tanks to Ukraine on top of the 14 German-made Leopard 2 tanks it has already pledged, the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, has told CTV News.

A total of 321 heavy tanks have been promised to Ukraine by several countries, Ukraine’s ambassador to France said on Friday. Vadym Omelchenko told French TV station BFM that “delivery terms vary for each case and we need this help as soon as possible”, while not specifying the number of tanks per country.

Belgium announced an additional €93.6m ($104.7m/£84.5m) package in military aid for Ukraine in what the Belgian prime minister, Alexander De Croo, said was – including previous spending – the largest of its kind Belgium had ever given another country.

Ukraine says it is setting up drone assault companies within its armed forces that will be equipped with Starlink satellite communications, as it presses ahead with an idea to build up an “army of drones”, Reuters reported. Commander-in-chief Valeriy Zaluzhnyi signed off on the creation of the units in a project that would involve several ministries and agencies, the general staff said.

Ten regions of Ukraine are instituting emergency power outages due to a power shortage in the network after Thursday’s Russian attacks, Ukraine’s state broadcaster has reported. Repairs to damaged facilities are continuing.

The Kremlin claims Joe Biden has the key to end the conflict in Ukraine by directing Kyiv to settle but has not been willing to use it. “The key to the Kyiv regime is largely in the hands of Washington,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday. “Now we see that the current White House leader ... does not want to use this key. On the contrary, he chooses the path of further pumping weapons into Ukraine.” Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova accused Washington of engaging in a “hybrid war” against Moscow.

The European Union wants swift accountability for “horrific” crimes in Ukraine, EU justice ministers have said while meeting in Stockholm. But the member states differ over how to bring prosecutions, seek evidence or fund war damage repairs. .

Hungary will veto any European Union sanctions against Russia affecting nuclear energy, the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, told state radio on Friday.

Russia is violating the “fundamental principles of child protection” in wartime by giving Ukrainian children Russian passports and putting them up for adoption, the head of the UN’s refugee agency, Filippo Grandi, has said.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

The Kremlin has stamped out public dissent but makeshift memorials to Ukrainian dead are a focus for those opposed to the conflict

• Russia-Ukraine war: latest updates

Natalia Samsonova says she imagines the muffled screams of those trapped under the rubble, the fire and smell of smoke, the grief of the mother who lost her husband and infant child beneath the ruins of the building in Dnipro bombed by Russia. She imagines being unable to breathe.

That is why she is here, at a statue to the Ukrainian poet Lesya Ukrainka, a largely unknown monument tucked away among Moscow’s brutalist apartment blocks that has hosted a furtive anti-war memorial at a time when few in Russia dare protest against the conflict.

Continue reading...
27 Jan. 2023

Russia and Kyiv both need a breakthrough but a major offensive will be loaded with risk whoever strikes first

In the clear sky over the winter-yellowed marsh grasses on the outskirts of the town of Huliaipole, the bang and crump of artillery picked up pace like the thunderclaps of a distant but approaching storm.

The Russian armed forces declared on Sunday that they had launched a new offensive in Zaporizhzhia region, but the Ukrainian soldiers seemed unperturbed. The frontline here has not moved for 10 months, and the Russians are hunkered in their trenches, which run across the rolling hills of black-soil farmland. They are not going anywhere soon, the soldiers said.

Continue reading...
27 Jan. 2023

Permit for demonstration at which anti-Islam provocateur burned Muslim holy book was paid for by far-right journalist linked to Moscow-backed media

The Qur’an-burning incident in Stockholm that threatens Sweden’s bid to join Nato was funded by a far-right journalist with links to Kremlin-backed media, it has emerged.

The holy book was set alight last Saturday near Turkey’s embassy in Stockholm by a far-right politician and anti-Islam provocateur, Rasmus Paludan, a dual Danish-Swedish national, with a reputation for carrying out similar acts.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

My first trip alone was daunting, but the romance and beauty of Paris, Florence and Rome helped me conquer my fears

I’ve never been to Paris before, but it’s living up to its reputation so far. I only arrived a few minutes ago and have parked myself in a posh 1920s-style cafe across the road from Gare du Nord, where the Eurostar train deposits Channel-hoppers like me.

I’m here to begin a three-week grand tour across the continent: from Paris to Naples via Nice, Florence and Rome. I’ve never travelled to mainland Europe before. I haven’t been able to afford it, and even if I’d had the money, anxiety would have kept me home as I suffer from mild travel phobia. So, as well as a holiday, this trip will also be a sort of aversion therapy.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

The young Irish actor has overcome a tragic childhood to earn an Academy Award nomination for The Banshees of Inisherin

There are disturbing elements in Martin McDonagh’s precisely calibrated hit The Banshees of Inisherin. But along with all the nihilism, the unfortunate donkey and the splashes of gore, the performance given by Barry Keoghan is right up there for its unsettling impact. The Irish actor’s vulnerable and abused islander Dominic Kearney gives the film moments of warmth and much of its emotional punch.

So, even though the 30-year-old’s inclusion in the Oscar lineup for best supporting actor was unexpected last week – especially alongside big names such as Judd Hirsch and his Banshees co-star Brendan Gleeson – it was not a surprise for those who love the film.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

In December 1976, Patti and Griff Thomas were found dead at their Welsh farmhouse. The police said it was a murder-suicide. But locals say the evidence doesn’t add up …

The weathered headstones on the gently sloping hillside of Rhydwilym cemetery in Pembrokeshire, south-west Wales, are smothered in ivy and lichen, mostly long forgotten. But one among them is stark and unmissable, with bright gold lettering on sharp black granite. Martha Mary Thomas, whom everyone called Patti, and her older brother, Griffith Morris Thomas, known as Griff, lived together at the farmhouse of Ffynnon Samson, in nearby Llangolman. They died there together, on 7 December 1976, when Patti was 70 and Griff was 73. They are buried together, in the same grave. On the day I visit, someone has left a posy of pink flowers for them, flattened against the dark stone by the driving rain.

Neither Patti nor Griff had married. They remained at Ffynnon Samson, the Thomas family home, all their lives. Their father died in 1967, leaving them alone together when they were in their 60s. The farm had earned them a good living, but they lived frugally on their pensions, spending their time at Rhydwilym chapel, and looking after their garden.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Gives you space, doesn’t use voicemail, is liked by dogs: our guide to the telltale signs that a relationship is the real deal

Just as it’s much easier to fire off cutting snark than offer constructive criticism, advice on dating and relationships tends to focus on the negative. So many warnings on what not to say or do, the ones to avoid, the dangers. But what about the good stuff? Wouldn’t it be nice to hear we’re getting something right, receive a little encouragement or, even better, a handy guide to best practice. We know all about the red flags, but their more positive, cheerleading green cousins are just as important. We’ve scorched the earth, here come the green shoots. I’ve trawled expert advice, the soothsayers of social media, idiots with broadband, and even delved into my own experiences for the ultimate list of romantic five-star ratings that say, hey, maybe this is going somewhere. Never accept any less than the absolute best in show.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Stratford residents fear planned MSG Sphere concert hall will ruin their sleep with light pollution

East London residents are being warned that light pollution from a controversial huge new concert venue – the MSG Sphere – will be “like a sun on Earth”. The message comes from neighbours of a Las Vegas version, more than 5,000 miles away.

Plans for the new concert hall in Stratford took a step closer to realisation last week when the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) approved plans for its advertising display covered with more than one million light emitting diodes that will show videos and adverts from dawn until late.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Having starred in some of Britain’s biggest TV shows, the pair are taking to the stage for Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, a minimalist two-hander where words are strictly rationed. And they can’t stop talking about it

“This is it,” Aidan Turner says, swooping his hand across the large and largely empty rehearsal room. “No props, no furniture. Nothing to hide behind.” Sliding into a seat across the table from him, Jenna Coleman replies mischievously: “Unless I hide behind you.”

The pair are soon to perform in Sam Steiner’s tender two-hander, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons, a play that has worked its way up from the fringe to the West End. “The main thing I’ve heard about the original,” Coleman says conspiratorially, leaning forwards on her elbows, “was that they had great chemistry.”

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

The disco diva and singer-songwriter, 82, on forming her first gospel trio, her five husbands and correspondence with Elvis

I was born in Alabama. My mother was displeased with my father’s behaviour. We called him “the weekend alcoholic”. He’d work all week, but on the weekend he’d take all his money, get drunk and gamble it away.

When I was 10, my mother took my younger brother, my older sister and me on the bus to Cleveland, where we met Bishop Mattie Lou Jewell, a very rich, very tall Black woman who oversaw 30 churches and ran a school. To entertain ourselves, my sister and I would harmonise little songs. Bishop Jewell overheard us and said: “My church has a contest every Tuesday night.” We tore the place up.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

Adam, 26 (left), assistant museum curator, meets Bron, 29, news reporter

What were you hoping for?
I try not to have any expectations, but I was excited and intrigued.

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

The majority of Americans have resigned themselves to accepting policing as it currently exists. This must change

On 7 January, police in Memphis beat Tyre Nichols so badly as to send him into a days-long death to which he ultimately succumbed on 10 January. The beating of Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, was so brutal that even law enforcement officials at both the city and state level – usually reliable sources for blaming the victims of police violence for the violence done to them – have declared it a heinous act. The five officers who beat Nichols, all of whom happen to also be Black, are currently on second-degree murder charges for what they did to him. Nichols is at least the 80th person killed by police in the US so far this year.

Nearly two years ago, the Guardian asked me to write about the trial of Derek Chauvin for his murder of George Floyd. At the time, my estimation of the trial’s significance – and of the conviction that seemed likely at the time and that ultimately came to pass – is that it would be minimal. After all, I more or less argued at the time, you can send Derek Chauvin to prison for being violent, but doing so doesn’t change the institution that trained him to be violent, paid him to be violent, and paid him to train others to be violent.

Simon Balto is assistant professor of history at the University of Wisconsin. He is the author of Occupied Territory: Policing Black Chicago from Red Summer to Black Power

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

The queen of clean says she’s ‘kind of given up’ on keeping her home tidy as she enjoys time with her family

Marie Kondo, the queen of clean, has always been rather more aspirational than relatable. Looks like that’s changed: the organizing guru has sparked widespread joy, and a touch of schadenfreude, after announcing that she’s happily succumbed to the chaos of having kids. “My home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this time at this stage of my life,” Kondo said (via an interpreter) at a recent media webinar. “Up until now, I was a professional tidier, so I did my best to keep my home tidy at all times … I have kind of given up on that in a good way for me. Now I realize what is important to me is enjoying spending time with my children at home.”

Continue reading...
28 Jan. 2023

The economic downturn, US lawsuits and the fear of rising tech rivals could be reasons for the firm’s “code red” alert, but it still has an AI ace up its sleeve

In a strange way, the best thing that could have happened to Google (now masquerading as Alphabet, its parent company) was Facebook. Why? Because although Google invented surveillance capitalism, arguably the most toxic business model since the opium trade, it was Facebook that got into the most trouble for its abuses of it. The result was that Google enjoyed an easier ride. Naturally, it had the odd bit of unpleasantness with the EU, with annoying fines and long drawn out legal wrangles. But it was the Facebook boss, Mark Zuckerberg – not Google’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin and their adult supervisor Eric Schmidt – who was awarded the title of evil emperor of the online world.

This sometimes enabled Google to fly below the regulatory radar and avoid public criticism. Its relative immunity may also have been fostered by credulity induced by its “Don’t be evil” motto. What may also have helped is the way that, over the years, it fumbled quite a few things – Google+, Google Wave, Google Glass, Knol and Google Reader, to name just five. On the other hand, it also managed to create useful and successful products – Gmail, for example, plus Google Maps, Google Scholar, Google Earth and Google Books. And, of course, it made inspired acquisitions of YouTube in 2006 and of artificial intelligence startup DeepMind in 2014.

Continue reading...
SCAN TO VIEW AND BOOKMARK THIS PAGE ON YOUR PHONE
BACK TO TOP