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The Guardian view on Thailand’s election: staving off the real reckoning | Editorial1h 15m The Guardian view on Thailand’s election: staving off the real reckoning | Editorial
The political soap opera around a princess’s brief candidacy has further exposed the dangerous rifts within the country. Until they are addressed, the cycle of elections, unrest and coups is likely to continueThailand is due to go to the polls next month, but after a
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Leaving the EU won’t advance anti-capitalism | Letters1h 45m Leaving the EU won’t advance anti-capitalism | Letters
Readers discuss the pros and cons of Brexit and frictionless trade between the UK and the rest of EuropeI take it Larry Elliott has his suits made by hand, drives a Morgan and/or rides a Brompton, drinks expensive English wine, and is currently only eating root vegetables with his British meat (
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Proposal to end the crisis in Venezuela | Letter1h 45m Proposal to end the crisis in Venezuela | Letter
Three Venezuelan academics call for a national referendum as outlined in the constitutionThere is a possible solution to the political and economic crisis in
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Are Maybot’s speeches due an upgrade? | Brief letters1h 46m Are Maybot’s speeches due an upgrade? | Brief letters
Oldham Evening Chronicle | Best banned songs | Pearl Harbor | GPT2 | Jam firstDavid Hibbert is indeed right in noting the loss to the town caused by the Oldham Evening Chronicle ceasing publication (
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Theresa May would rather risk an election than lose a referendum | Matthew d’Ancona2h Theresa May would rather risk an election than lose a referendum | Matthew d’Ancona
If the Tory leader agreed to a vote that could block Brexit, she’d go down in party folklore as the betrayer of a rightwing dreamFifty years ago, in an address to the nation, the US president Richard Nixon immortalised the phrase “
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Letter: Albert Finney said a biography would be ‘a waste of trees’2h Letter: Albert Finney said a biography would be ‘a waste of trees’
When, nearly 30 years ago, I was commissioned to write a biography of
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Metro’s success is good news for life beyond the web | Roy Greenslade5h Metro’s success is good news for life beyond the web | Roy Greenslade
A free paper that follows the market and prides itself in being unbiased is making £1m a month I am sitting in a newspaper conference listening to the news editor reciting her list of goodies for tomorrow’s issue: new Brexit controversy, latest Trump shenanigans, ongoing Venezuelan dramas, a hunt for a missing girl, a warning of 70mph gales. The editor and his team react appropriately: a concerned comment here; a murmur of sympathy there; and the occasional joke, especially in reaction to the day’s really surprising story. The pope has revealed that priests used an order of French nuns as sex slaves.
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Italy needs a hero, and in this 16th-century martyr it can find one | Stephanie Merritt9h Italy needs a hero, and in this 16th-century martyr it can find one | Stephanie Merritt
The philosopher Giordano Bruno, burned for heresy in 1600, has become a symbol of free expression and toleranceEvery year on 17 February, a crowd gathers in Rome’s Campo de’ Fiori to lay wreaths, poems and candles at the foot of the statue that glowers towards the Vatican from beneath its friar’s cowl. The man it memorialises, the Neapolitan philosopher
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Without territory or new recruits, Islamic State is in its death throes | Jason Burke10h Without territory or new recruits, Islamic State is in its death throes | Jason Burke
Dimninished and cornered, the terrorist group has lost its appeal for young Muslims The last fighters are holding out, just. The leader,
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An absurd vanity project for our age – Boris Johnson’s garden bridge | Rowan Moore10h An absurd vanity project for our age – Boris Johnson’s garden bridge | Rowan Moore
This scandalously mismanaged ‘gift to the people of London’ will cost the taxpayer £43m. For nothing We are invited to embark on an adventure. It will be an emblem of the enterprise of a proud people. Its cost will be zero, or not much, or a sum that, if quite large, will absolutely be worth it. Naysayers are pooh-poohed. Practical objections are for losers. A deadline is imposed, meaning we have to rush ahead with it at all costs. And driving it all forward are the quipping, gurning, dissembling features of Boris Johnson. For Brexit, read the garden bridge, an earlier vanity project promoted by the former mayor of London and foreign secretary. For it was Johnson who picked up the charming-sounding idea, conceived by Joanna Lumley, of building a flower-filled crossing from London’s South Bank to the Temple. For whatever selfless or selfish reasons (you decide), he chose to throw his mayoral power behind it, steamroller objection and commit public money to an architectural unicorn.
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The possibility of redemption is central to a humane society | Kenan Malik11h The possibility of redemption is central to a humane society | Kenan Malik
Whatever her actions are found to be, Britain cannot wash its hands of Shamima Begum How do you solve a problem like Shamima? In February 2015, 15-year-old east London schoolgirl Shamima Begum travelled to Syria with two friends, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, to join Islamic State. Last week, she was discovered in al-Hawl, a Syrian refugee camp, by the
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Mrs May and Mr Corbyn are complicit in Britain’s drift towards disaster | Andrew Rawnsley11h Mrs May and Mr Corbyn are complicit in Britain’s drift towards disaster | Andrew Rawnsley
A lot of the blame lies with the cynical manoeuvres of the party leaders, but parliament as a whole also bears responsibilityHigh noon. Mexican standoff. Last chance saloon. There’s been no end of opportunities to deploy metaphors drawn from the Wild West to describe Brexit. This is kind of appropriate since the benighted enterprise was triggered by a bunch of cowboys and peddled by snake-oil salesmen. In another way, talk of shootouts and showdowns is a bad journalistic habit of which I’ve been occasionally guilty myself. Describing Brexit in these dramatic terms suggests we are about to reach some kind of resolution and the end credits can finally roll. Yet we never do. Every exchange of gunfire at the Not O.K. Corral is followed by the grim realisation that the plot has not been advanced at all. We are still stuck where we have been marooned for months: without a deal that parliament will pass and without a proved majority for any alternative. In Brexitland, it is always crisis and never catharsis.
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The Observer view on Shamima Begum | Observer editorial13h The Observer view on Shamima Begum | Observer editorial
Whatever the risk this young Isis supporter may pose, she is Britain’s responsibility and we cannot afford to shirk it Exploited victim or unrepentant villain? It’s impossible to determine the truth about Shamima Begum, the 19-year-old who left Bethnal Green in London when she was 15 to join Islamic State, from a single newspaper interview. And it shouldn’t be hard to acknowledge that more than one interpretation of her story might contain a ring of accuracy. Begum is undoubtedly vulnerable. She was groomed online at the age of 15; married off, albeit willingly, to a jihadist fighter while still a child just 10 days after arriving in Raqqa, Syria; in recent months, she has lost two infants to malnutrition and inadequate healthcare. Heavily pregnant with her third child,
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Machines are not our masters – but the sinister side of AI demands a smart response | Will Hutton13h Machines are not our masters – but the sinister side of AI demands a smart response | Will Hutton
A new system that generates text is the latest threat to jobs... and to truth itselfKeep your heads! You are not about to surrender your life and understanding of the world to machines. That head of yours with its conscious mind, reading this column, remains in the driving seat and always will. It’s true that the capacity of machines to supplement human intelligence, monitor us, mimic us and replace routine jobs and tasks is exploding and in the wrong hands could represent a step change in creating dark forms of economic and social control. But that is the battle for democracy, with the confrontation of the worst of capitalism taking on a new dimension. It does not mean that the end of human life is nigh – it means we have to be cleverer in fashioning responses. Last week,
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Men, does your decor let you down? Let me introduce you to feng shuggy | Kevin McKenna13h Men, does your decor let you down? Let me introduce you to feng shuggy | Kevin McKenna
Bin the football posters and black leather sofas and break out the baobab scented candlesAlong with other leftwing types, I was tempted to disparage some of the observations of a high-profile interiors analyst.
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May I have a word about… the not-so insightful language of academe | Jonathan Bouquet13h May I have a word about… the not-so insightful language of academe | Jonathan Bouquet
When it comes to the mangling of English, political psychologists reign supremeMy beleaguered and battered Brexit brethren, I would like to bring you relief, but monumental language mangling offers little comfort on this vexatious subject. Consider the following from the
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Abortion is legal, so why did the BBC fail to give advice? | Kenan Malik13h Abortion is legal, so why did the BBC fail to give advice? | Kenan Malik
The broadcaster did viewers a disservice in refusing to offer information over a Call the Midwife plotline Abortion has been legal in Britain for more than half a century. It’s the most common gynaecological procedure, with 98% of terminations in England and Wales
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Sensitive facade, feminist credentials, soulful lyrics… but what lies beneath? | Barbara Ellen13h Sensitive facade, feminist credentials, soulful lyrics… but what lies beneath? | Barbara Ellen
My music journalism past suggests that a #MeToo moment in rock is long overdueThe allegations against the US singer-songwriter
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Working together on mental health | Letters13h Working together on mental health | Letters
The NHS is making progress in protecting young people’s wellbeing, but wider society has a vital role tooAs a mental health nurse since 1984, stories like this never get easier to read (“
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Tormenting Meghan Markle has become a national sport that shames us | Catherine Bennett23h Tormenting Meghan Markle has become a national sport that shames us | Catherine Bennett
Once, she was a breath of fresh air. Now media critics and ‘experts’ are having a field dayIn the period when the acquisition of the former Meghan Markle was depicted as little short of a national triumph, much was written in the British press about her various accomplishments. These are, after all, roughly as common in royal spouses as successful independent careers. Meghan, the actress and blogger and charity worker, is also, it emerged, a skilled calligrapher. “I’ve always had a propensity for getting the cursive down pretty well,” she once told an
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The Making of a DNA Detective24h Updated The Making of a DNA Detective
CeCe Moore, an amateur genealogist turned professional, helps police crack decades-old cases.
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Andrea Levy gave a voice to all my silenced forebears | Sharmaine Lovegrove24h Andrea Levy gave a voice to all my silenced forebears | Sharmaine Lovegrove
Her novel Small Island made me understand where the Windrush generation were coming fromAndrea Levy wrote to understand where she came from; I read her to understand where we come from. I was 23 when
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Brexit extremism is going nowhere. Now the moderate millions must act | Nick Cohen25h Brexit extremism is going nowhere. Now the moderate millions must act | Nick Cohen
Britain doesn’t have to follow the Leavers over the cliff. There’s still time for a U-turnFor three years, the worst of Britain has been in charge. The Britain that says it is elitist to tell the electorate it can’t have the impossible. The Britain that has patted itself on the back for threatening the
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Five Sundays to Brexit – cartoon25h Five Sundays to Brexit – cartoon
A few short steps from Jacob Rees-Mogg to no deal
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The Observer view on Gavin Williamson’s Pacific blunder | Observer editorial26h The Observer view on Gavin Williamson’s Pacific blunder | Observer editorial
Talking tough to China is typical of Mrs May’s gaffe-prone defence secretaryGavin Williamson is a loose cannon. That would not matter so much if, as was the case until a couple of years ago, he was a government whip whose views were of little account. But Theresa May’s surprise decision to make Williamson defence secretary has given him an international platform, and a degree of responsibility, to which he appears ill-suited. Until now, his most publicised blunder concerned his schoolboy remarks following last year’s chemical weapons attack in Salisbury. Asked how he thought Vladimir Putin might respond to British sanctions, he replied: “Frankly, Russia should go away and it should shut up.” He was widely mocked.
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To survive, councils need more money. But council tax is broken | Luke Murphy34h To survive, councils need more money. But council tax is broken | Luke Murphy
Austerity has stripped local services to the bone – and those on the lowest incomes will be forced to pay for it“The most boring and complicated subject in all of public life,” declared William Waldegrave, former minister and an architect of the fateful poll tax, when speaking of local government finance. But this is misleading: the consequences of local government austerity are anything but boring for those on the lowest incomes. The design of the council tax system – and recent reforms to it – hits the poorest hardest. Here’s why. Since 2010, the central government grant to local government has been
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Fit in my 40s: my running goal? I want to stop giving up | Zoe Williams36h Fit in my 40s: my running goal? I want to stop giving up | Zoe Williams
Will a fitness MOT break the cycle of competence, then laziness?
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Tate Modern’s neighbours missed the point: cities make voyeurs of us all | Fiona Sturges37h Tate Modern’s neighbours missed the point: cities make voyeurs of us all | Fiona Sturges
If you buy a flat within a stone’s throw of one of London’s leading attractions, you’re going to get some attention tooWhen you live in the city, the world is full of
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The trip from London to Lincolnshire showed me the Brexit divide’s depth | Ian Jack37h The trip from London to Lincolnshire showed me the Brexit divide’s depth | Ian Jack
79% remain Lambeth and 76% leave Boston have begun a conversation. There’s goodwill, but still little common groundWhat was it the Queen said? “As we look for new answers in the modern age, I for one prefer the tried and tested recipes, like speaking well of each other and respecting different points of view; coming together to seek out the common ground; and never losing sight of the bigger picture.” She
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