• Taylor Swift’s ME! is a musical-inspired return to her happily uncool brand
    by Laura Snapes on April 26, 2019 at 6:34 AM

    The first single from Swift’s seventh album is a defiant reassertion of her positivity – a rabidly upbeat ode to individualismPretty much every artist who has released an album in the past 18 months has found themselves battling pop’s new glass ceiling: namely the unyielding chart dominance of the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman, the UK’s biggest-selling album of 2018 and only the second album in 30 years to spend 11 consecutive weeks at No 1. It was never going to be long before pop acts started trying to play This Is Me et al at their own game. And so, contrary to fan theories that Taylor Swift’s seventh album would herald a return to her country roots, or pop psychedelia à la Kacey Musgraves’ Golden Hour, the first single from TS7 is an unabashed slab of Showmancore: a rabidly upbeat ode to individualism, wide-eyed to the point of camp. (That would also explain Swift’s – one presumes – intentionally très mauvais Frawnch accent at the start of the video.) Continue reading… […]

  • Anna Sorokin: fake heiress found guilty of theft and grand larceny in Manhattan
    by Associated Press on April 26, 2019 at 6:26 AM

    Woman who masqueraded as Anna Delvey swindled tens of thousands of dollars from banks, hotels and friendsA New York jury on Thursday convicted an extravagant socialite who bankrolled an implausibly lavish lifestyle with tens of thousands of dollars she swindled from banks, hotels and friends who believed she was a wealthy German heiress. The Manhattan jury found Anna Sorokin guilty of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a month-long trial that attracted international attention. She was acquitted of one count of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny. She is to be sentenced 9 May. Continue reading… […]

  • ‘Gorilla selfie’: Congolese ranger explains how he snapped viral photo
    by Associated Press on April 26, 2019 at 6:21 AM

    Mathieu Shamavu’s photo captured two female orphaned gorillas at a national park in the Congo copying his movements Two gorillas stand behind a park ranger, one at a side angle, with her shoulders back, head up, apparently posing. The other seems to be peering around the back of the human to make sure she’s in shot.The photograph – or gorilla selfie, as it has been dubbed – went viral after it was shared by Mathieu Shamavu, a ranger at Virunga national park in eastern Congo, who captured the shot. Continue reading… […]

  • Christchurch attack: Prince William meets with five-year-old survivor
    by Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin on April 26, 2019 at 6:20 AM

    William tells crowd at Al Noor mosque that New Zealand’s response to shootings set an examplePrince William has delighted a young survivor of the mosque shootings by visiting her in hospital in Auckland.Alen Alsati, 5, sustained numerous critical injuries in the Christchurch attacks in which 50 people were killed on 15 March. Alsati cannot see, walk, or move properly. She also suffered brain damage, her doctors said, and it is not yet known if it will be permanent. Continue reading… […]

  • Armenian MPs call for trans activist to be burned alive after historic speech
    by Saeed Kamali Dehghan on April 26, 2019 at 6:00 AM

    Landmark parliamentary address on LGBTI discrimination challenges reformist agenda of post-revolution governmentArmenia’s first registered transgender woman has received death threats after making a historic speech in her country’s national assembly.Lilit Martirosyan became the first member of her country’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community to take to the parliamentary podium, speaking out against discrimination at a session of its committee on human rights. A video of the speech has been shared around the world. Continue reading… […]

  • Joe Biden is the Hillary Clinton of 2020 – and it won’t end well this time either | Arwa Mahdawi
    by Arwa Mahdawi on April 26, 2019 at 6:00 AM

    His is the vaguest and most centrist of battle cries: let’s go back to, you know, ‘all those good things’Joe Biden wants to make America straight again. “America’s coming back like we used to be,” the former vice-president told reporters in Delaware on Thursday, shortly after he released a video officially announcing his 2020 campaign. “Ethical, straight, telling the truth … All those good things.” Related: Joe Biden’s inappropriate touching is the embodiment of male privilege | Suzanne Moore Continue reading… […]

  • A fortnight with Extinction Rebellion – in pictures
    by Sean Smith on April 26, 2019 at 6:00 AM

    The Guardian photographer Sean Smith has spent every day with the climate change group Extinction Rebellion during their two weeks of protests in central London Continue reading… […]

  • Sri Lanka attacks: police hunting 140 Isis suspects, says president
    by Michael Safi in Colombo on April 26, 2019 at 5:46 AM

    Operation comes as leaders urge women to avoid wearing niqabs to help security effortSri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena has said police are looking for 140 people believed to have links to Isis over the Easter Sunday attacks that killed at least 253 people. Sirisena said some youths had been involved with the extremist group since 2013, and that top defence and police chiefs had not shared information with him about the impending attacks. Continue reading… […]

  • More than 1,000 migrants break out of southern Mexico detention centre
    by Reuters on April 26, 2019 at 5:25 AM

    Mass escape from overcrowded Siglo XXI facility sign of how surge in arrivals has stretched resources More than a thousand migrants broke out of a detention centre in southern Mexico on Thursday evening, authorities said, in a fresh sign of how a surge in arrivals has stretched the country’s resources to the limit.More than half of the roughly 1,300 migrants later returned to the Siglo XXI facility in the border city of Tapachula in Chiapas state, but about 600 are still unaccounted for, the National Migration Institute said in a statement. Continue reading… […]

  • It’s right to save our children from Dumbo and this song of slavery | Ellen E Jones
    by Ellen E Jones on April 26, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Kids can absorb racist stereotypes so it’s good news that Disney is omitting Song of the South from its streaming siteIt’s 73 years since Song of the South was first released in cinemas, and Disney can now tacitly admit something cine-literate parents have known all along: not all films theoretically made for children are suitable to be viewed by actual human children. When Disney Plus, the company’s streaming site, launches in the US in November, this 1946 film about an idyllic, reconstruction era slave plantation will be omitted from the catalogue, as will the similarly controversial “Jim Crow” scene from Dumbo. Good.Some will see this as just another example of history being rewritten to match current cultural sensitivities, but Song of the South hasn’t suddenly fallen foul of hyper-vigilant offence-junkies. It was always a bit racist. I remember, a full generation ago, my (black) mother banned me from watching the film when it came on terrestrial TV (as it did, semi-regularly, until as recently as 2006). And she was livid when she found out that I went and watched it anyway, while staying with my (white) father. Maybe I gave myself away by humming Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah round the flat on my return. It is demonically catchy. Continue reading… […]

  • Harvey Weinstein trial should be public, news organizations argue
    by Erin Durkin in New York and agencies on April 26, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Defense and prosecution seek to hearing behind closed doorsMedia to tell judge ‘there is no rational basis’ for secrecyNews organizations are fighting to open Harvey Weinstein’s next court appearance to the public, after both prosecutors and defense attorneys asked for it to be held behind closed doors.At a hearing set for Friday, ahead of the disgraced movie mogul’s trial in New York on rape and sexual assault charges, the sides will argue over whether some of the many women who have accused Weinstein of sexual assault – besides the ones involved in the criminal charges – will be allowed to testify at his June trial. Continue reading… […]

  • Bernie Sanders booed as Democratic hopefuls try to woo women of color
    by Christine Bolaños in Houston on April 26, 2019 at 5:00 AM

    Seven leading Democratic 2020 contenders spoke at the inaugural She the People event focusing on female voters of colorWhite House candidate Bernie Sanders got a rocky reception when he gave a halting performance at an event this week focusing on female voters of color, while Kamala Harris was given a standing ovation – but was vigorously challenged in the popularity stakes by rivals Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke.Women from 28 states descended on Houston, Texas, on Wednesday to hear from the seven leading Democratic 2020 contenders at an inaugural event called She the People presidential forum – a day before Joe Biden jumped into the race. Continue reading… […]

  • Are our blueberries radioactive? The fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 30 years on
    by Presented by: Anushka Asthana with Kate Brown and Rory Carroll, produced by Mythili Rao, Joshua Kelly and Axel Kacoutié; executive producers Phil Maynard and Nicole Jackson on April 26, 2019 at 4:50 AM

    On 26 April 1986, the worst nuclear accident in human history occurred in the No 4 reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Soviet Ukraine. Kate Brown has spent years researching the cover-up that took place afterwards. Plus: Rory Carroll reflects on the legacy of the Northern Irish journalist Lyra McKeeChernobyl was the worst nuclear accident in human history and its legacy is still being felt today. The public is often led to believe that the exclusion zone, a depopulated 20-mile circle around the blown plant, safely contained Chernobyl radioactivity. But there is a second zone in southern Belarus. In it, people lived for 15 years in levels of contamination as high as areas within the official zone until the area was finally abandoned in 1999.That is just one of the things Kate Brown discovered during the 10 years she spent interviewing doctors, scientists and international officials involved in the Chernobyl disaster and scouring over 20 archives to unearth never-before-seen documents. She talks to Anushka Asthana about the impact of international organisations lying about the disaster and why we should be asking far more questions about the global health effects of radioactivity as we enter a new nuclear age. Continue reading… […]

  • Belt and Road forum: Xi Jinping promises transparency to ease concerns
    by Associated Press on April 26, 2019 at 4:39 AM

    President promises ‘zero tolerance for corruption’ and says global transport plan should bring prosperity to allPresident Xi Jinping has sought to allay concerns about China’s Belt and Road initiative, saying: “Everything should be done in a transparent way and we should have zero tolerance for corruption.”He promised high standards in a bid to dispel complaints the projects costing many billions of dollars leave developing countries with too much debt. Continue reading… […]

  • Factory farms are polluting our water with hog manure. Democrats should take note | George Goehl
    by George Goehl on April 26, 2019 at 4:00 AM

    While Trump touts immigration, his 2020 opponents could appeal to rural voters by taking on big ag’s noxious effectsDonald Trump is banking on riding his hardline stance on immigration to re-election in 2020. Tough talk of a wall makes headlines, but it’s a less discussed issue that could play a deciding role for voters in swing states and early primary states: the influx of factory farms and the devastating impact they have on people’s water, air and way of life. Democratic presidential hopefuls would be smart to clarify their stance on consolidated corporate agriculture, and soon.In Iowa – site of the first caucus, and a state that went for President Obama twice and then swung soundly to Trump – more than 750 waterways are impaired. The cause? Chemical fertilizers and factory farm manure. Continue reading… […]

  • Cardinals select multi-sport star Kyler Murray as No1 pick in NFL draft
    by Associated Press on April 26, 2019 at 3:54 AM

    Arizona pick quarterback in first-round for second year in rowMurray was also selected in first round of MLB draft by Oakland Defying NFL custom and at least temporarily creating a quarterback quandary, the Arizona Cardinals led off the NFL draft on Thursday night by selecting Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, the Heisman Trophy winner. For the second time in a year, Arizona went for a quarterback, having moved up from 15th overall to 10th in 2018 to grab Josh Rosen. NFL teams simply don’t do that, but with a new coach in college-trained Kliff Kingsbury, the Cardinals made the bold move. At least until they likely move Rosen elsewhere in a trade. Related: Why Kyler Murray is set to forfeit a $4.6m MLB bonus and join the NFL Continue reading… […]

  • Cyclone Kenneth: Mozambique hit by its strongest storm ever
    by Ruth Maclean on April 26, 2019 at 2:20 AM

    Wind speeds of 140mph threatens fresh devastation for country reeling from Cyclone IdaiThe strongest cyclone ever to hit Mozambique has made landfall in the country’s north, five weeks after Cyclone Idai devastated its centre, according to meteorologists.Surpassing both Idai and the 2000 cyclone that had been the strongest to date, Cyclone Kenneth hit Cabo Delgado province with wind speeds of 140mph (225km/h), bringing the threat of extreme rainfall. Continue reading… […]

  • Judge blocks Trump administration ‘gag rule’ on abortion referrals
    by Reuters on April 26, 2019 at 2:05 AM

    Federal court bars enforcement of measure aimed at fulfilling president’s pledge to end federal support for Planned ParenthoodA federal judge has blocked a Trump administration rule that would bar taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers, according to the state attorney general.The preliminary injunction on Thursday bars enforcement nationwide of a policy that was due to go into effect on 3 May over the vehement objections of abortion rights supporters who have decried it as a “gag rule” designed to silence doctor-patient communications about abortion options. Continue reading… […]

  • Beetlejuice review – fun, freaky Tim Burton adaptation haunts Broadway
    by Alexis Soloski on April 26, 2019 at 1:30 AM

    The Winter Garden, New YorkA stage transfer for the spirited 80s comedy struggles to produce any memorable songs but provides an enjoyably silly night out nonethelessA specter is haunting the Winter Garden. Actually, a lot of specters. There are dead football players, a slit-wrist beauty queen, a sandworm, a singing roast pig, a couple of garden-variety friendly ghosts and of course Beetlejuice himself, the zoot-suited, fright-wigged, sour milk-complected ghoul at the whirling center of Beetlejuice, a demented, borderline incoherent, often rousing new musical. The specter of capitalism? That’s there, too. The merch booth is going gangbusters. Related: Tootsie review – Broadway adaptation is a giddy night out Continue reading… […]

  • ‘You need to be terrified of me, bitch’: Audio raises questions about Hill abuse case
    by Associated Press on April 26, 2019 at 1:06 AM

    Kansas City receiver’s son had been injured at home last monthCharges had not been filed in domestic abuse caseNew audio recording raises questions around NFL starA television station aired audio on Thursday it says shows Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill telling his fiancee about punching and using a belt to discipline their son one day after prosecutors reluctantly declined to file charges in a domestic incident.Police were called to Hill’s home twice last month and investigators determined the three-year-old child had been injured. On Wednesday, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said charges would not be filed, but acknowledged he was “deeply troubled” by the situation and said “we believe a crime has occurred.” He said there was not enough evidence to conclusively establish who committed it. Continue reading… […]

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