The Guardian

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  • Coronavirus live news: Hong Kong orders partial lockdown; Covid fragments found in Sydney sewage
    by Sarah Marsh (now), Lisa Cox and Josh Taylor (earlier) on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 09:44

    Thousands in Kowloon district put under new restrictions; New UK Covid variant may be 30% more deadly, says Johnson; Germany’s Covid death toll exceeds 50,000Home Affairs visa letter forces Australian couple on ‘nightmare’ trip to Covid-hit Britain Israeli Covid chief’s claim single vaccine dose less effective ‘inaccurate’ Covid vaccines: what are the implications of new variants of virus?9.30am GMT Schools throughout Jordan have been closed for nearly a year now, and the economic fallout from the novel coronavirus pandemic has eaten into breadwinners’ ability to feed their families. “As school is shut, I help my family financially,” said 14-year-old Omar, who one of many minors experts say have been forced prematurely into the labour market. He works repairing and cleaning kerosene heaters and collapses into bed after working 12-hour days. 9.20am GMT Thousands of people from Hong Kong were ordered to stay in their homes for the city’s first coronavirus lockdown as authorities battle an outbreak in one of its poorest and most densely packed districts. The order bans about 10,000 people living inside multiple housing blocks within the neighbourhood of Jordan from leaving their apartments until all those in the area had been tested. Continue reading...

  • David Arquette: ‘I got stabbed in the neck during a wrestling match’
    by Rosanna Greenstreet on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 09:30

    The Scream actor and wrestler on Bozo the Clown, Liberace’s shoes and a traumatising moment in Hollywood Born in Virginia, David Arquette, 49, rose to fame starring in the Scream film franchise. In 2000, he became a professional wrestler. His latest movie is 12 Hour Shift, which is digitally released on 25 January. He has a daughter with Courteney Cox and two sons with his second wife, Christina McLarty. He lives in Nashville and Los Angeles. When were you happiest?With time and experience you figure stuff out, so I am happiest right now. Continue reading...

  • The inauguration was full of exquisite moments: but what was the best bit? | Emma Brockes
    by Emma Brockes on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 09:00

    Apart from Joe Biden we had Kamala, Lady Gaga, Bernie’s mittens – and Trump suddenly seeming an irrelevance It started on Tuesday with nerves in the playground: why weren’t they holding it indoors? No one with sense, we agreed, had an appetite for spectacle, and our systems couldn’t take any more. Donald Trump was going, good riddance, but let’s not tempt fate; besides, on Wednesday morning we all had things to do. After a year of rolling crises, even New Yorkers were feeling meek and defeated. Let’s get this thing over with and try to move on. The most surprising thing about the inauguration this week – apart from the reminder that, when it comes to its national ceremonies, America is if anything even more camp than Britain – was the sheer, irrepressible joy of it. From the first minute to the last there was no containing this thing and nothing – not pragmatism, superstition, trauma fatigue or work – would get in the way of the feeling. “Bye bye Trump, that dummy,” said one of my daughters on Wednesday morning. And so it began. Continue reading...

  • Page refresh: how the internet is transforming the novel
    by Olivia Sudjic on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 09:00

    Doom scrolling, oversharing, constantly updating social media feeds ... the internet shapes how we see the world, and now it’s changing the stories we tell, writes author Olivia Sudjic Towards the end of 2020, a year spent supine on my sofa consuming endless internet like a force-fed goose, I managed to finish a beautifully written debut novel: Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson, which comes out next month. And yet despite the entrancing descriptions, I could barely turn two pages before my hand moved reflexively toward the cracked screen of my phone. Each time I returned to the novel I felt ashamed, and the shame only grew as I realised that, somehow, though the story was set in the present, and involved an often long-distance romance between two young people with phones, it contained not one single reference to what by then I considered a hallmark of present-day humanity: mindless scrolling through social media. There was something sepia-toned about the book thanks to this absence, recalling love stories from previous eras even as it spoke powerfully to more urgent contemporary issues. Azumah Nelson’s narrator mentions phones in the context of calls and private text messages, but the characters are never sullied by association with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Was this because they were too sensible, ethical or self-assured to use such things, or is the omnipresence of these platforms now so implicit, in literature as in life, that they hardly seemed worth mentioning? Continue reading...

  • Mother-in-law jokes a thing of the past? Not at Pixar | Hadley Freeman
    by Hadley Freeman on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 09:00

    The studio’s new movie Soul, starring an ‘annoying’ Tina Fey, has just updated them for a new generation It’s always weird when a good film suddenly lets you down – like meeting someone at a party who you think might become a proper friend, and then they turn around, bend over and fart. Like, really? I expected better of you, man. For me this happened (almost literally) with Bridesmaids, a terrifically smart comedy about female friendship, aside from the scene in which all the women develop chronic – and public – diarrhoea. And it happened with Booksmart, which zings with subtle truths about dorky teenage girls, aside from the pointless running joke about a female teacher sleeping with a student. Dontcha love movies that celebrate women, but also gratuitously humiliate them? Continue reading...

  • How creating wildlife crossings can help reindeer, bears – and even crabs
    by Patrick Greenfield on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 08:30

    Sweden’s announcement this week that it is to build a series of animal bridges is the latest in global efforts to help wildlife navigate busy roads Every April, Sweden’s main highway comes to a periodic standstill. Hundreds of reindeer overseen by indigenous Sami herders shuffle across the asphalt on the E4 as they begin their journey west to the mountains after a winter gorging on the lichen near the city of Umeå. As Sweden’s main arterial road has become busier, the crossings have become increasingly fractious, especially if authorities do not arrive in time to close the road. Sometimes drivers try to overtake the reindeer as they cross – spooking the animals and causing long traffic jams as their Sami owners battle to regain control. “During difficult climate conditions, these lichen lands can be extra important for the reindeer,” says Per Sandström, a landscape ecologist at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences who works as an intermediary between the Sami and authorities to improve the crossings. Continue reading...

  • ‘A new wave’: Kamala Harris elevates black designers on world stage
    by Priya Elan on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 08:30

    US vice-president wore black designers at inauguration events, aligning administration’s commitment to diversity with fashion’s attempt to address racism In a year where the global fashion industry has faced its biggest ever racial reckoning Kamala Harris, the first black and south Asian vice-president, has elevated the names of black designers by wearing their clothes on the biggest public stage possible. Related: Biden and Harris dress to reassure that normal service is restored Continue reading...

  • He shoots, he scores – or does he? How VAR changed football for ever
    by Tom Lamont on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 08:00

    Virtual assistance for referees has drawn complaints from managers, players and fans. What has it done to the beautiful game? When Manchester City scored a brilliant winning goal in the last seconds of a Uefa Champions League quarter-final against Spurs in the spring of 2019, at least two spectators who were present at the game abandoned watching. Out in the stands, an overcoated City fan hurried for the exits, delighted with his last-gasp win and keen to beat the rush home. At the same time, down on the substitutes’ bench, Moussa Sissoko, a Spurs player who’d been withdrawn through injury, was so distraught that he turned his back on the game and hobbled to his dressing room alone. Continue reading...

  • Streaming: the best movie portrayals of US presidents
    by Guy Lodge on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 08:00

    How long before a Donald Trump biopic? Meanwhile, from young Obama to stately Abraham Lincoln, some White House incumbents fare better than others on the big screen At long last, Donald Trump is out of the White House. His story, one suspects, is far from over: any screenwriters hovering eagerly to write the quintessential film about America’s 45th president would be best advised to keep their powder dry. But write they eventually will – the presidential biopic practically being the due of most men who have held the position, however eventfully or otherwise. Few stick around for long in the popular imagination: when last did you have the urge to watch Merchant Ivory’s dreary Jefferson in Paris (1995; not even streamable) or Ron Howard’s righteously bland Frost/Nixon (2008; iTunes)? Cinema has certainly done a lot for Richard Nixon, who got one of the funniest of all Hollywood political satires in Andrew Fleming’s smart, fleet Dick (1999; Google Play), as well as the greatest of all “straight” presidential biopics in Oliver Stone’s wild, wavy Nixon (1995; Chili). A brashly ambitious, messy sprawl about a brashly ambitious, messy man, it takes great liberties of psychological interpretation to humanise Tricky Dick while still holding him rigidly to account. Stone couldn’t quite summon up the same dark majesty for George W Bush in 2008’s cartoonishly absorbing but strangely lightweight W. (YouTube), a strike-while-the-iron’s-hot effort that gave itself no distance from Dubya’s reign to really consider his legacy – though it’s already a fascinating time capsule. Continue reading...

  • A doctor wanted to make a difference. Now he’s a top Covid adviser to Biden
    by Harrison Hill on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 08:00

    Called to act after violence in Charlottesville, Cameron Webb ran for Congress. He lost, but is still headed to Washington In Charlottesville, there is before 12 August and there is after. So decisive is this date that it often appears in Virginia newspapers without a year attached. It is the local 9/11. Continue reading...

  • 'It gets to you': trans comedians on transphobia and cancel culture
    by Hallie Lieberman on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 07:48

    While ‘cancelled’ comedians continue to succeed after making transphobic jokes, their trans peers are still finding it an often unwelcome industry A month before the transgender comedian Jaye McBride was supposed to appear at a festival, she got a phone call. “The board has decided that we still want you to come, but on the ‘clean’ [family friendly] show, we don’t want you to talk about trans material,” the man said. “It blew me away at the time,” McBride recalled. “I’m just like, really? Do you tell other comics what material they can talk about?” McBride contemplated skipping the show, but decided she was “not turning down the paycheck”. So she stripped any mention of her trans identity from the “clean” set and only discussed being transgender in her “dirty” set. “It wasn’t a good feeling” to only be allowed to talk about being trans on the “dirty” show, she said. Continue reading...

  • Courtrooms and creditors likely to loom large in Trump's post-presidency life
    by Tom McCarthy on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 07:30

    Carter campaigned for human rights, Bush painted … but Trump faces several criminal investigations and a mountain of debt Each US president has charted a unique course after leaving the White House, taking up vocations from philanthropy to human rights to oil painting. Donald Trump’s post-presidency appears likely to be taken up by meetings with lawyers and creditors, possible sworn depositions about tax practices or sexual assault allegations and, in some long-tail scenarios, fines, criminal charges, bankruptcy or other legal sanction. Continue reading...

  • Rolling Stone seeks 'thought leaders' willing to pay $2,000 to write for them
    by Archie Bland on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 07:00

    Emails from ‘best-known entertainment media outlet’ invite ‘Culture Council’ to pay for chance to publish on website Rolling Stone magazine is offering “thought leaders” the chance to write for its website if they are willing to pay $2,000 to “shape the future of culture”. The storied magazine, which has published journalism by writers including Hunter S Thompson, Patti Smith and Tom Wolfe, approached would-be members of its new “Culture Council” by email, telling them that they had the chance to join “an invitation-only community for innovators, influencers and tastemakers”. Continue reading...

  • Tim Dowling: the cat has plenty to say. But why should I listen?
    by Tim Dowling on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 06:00

    ‘Your English is poor,’ I tell him. ‘Your accent is atrocious’ My phone says it’s 7.50am, but the sky outside looks more like 4.15. Rain is striking the window in handfuls, like flung gravel. It has been raining all night, and it promises to rain all day, possibly for the rest of the month. I dress by the light of a reading lamp and close the bedroom door behind me. “Hello?” says the cat from somewhere in the darkness below. Continue reading...

  • Blind date: ‘I realised my questions were getting a bit intense’
    on 23 Gennaio 2021 at 06:00

    Matt, 32, hydraulic engineer, and Steph, 29, trainee clinical psychologist What were you hoping for?To meet someone interesting and enjoy a slice of normality in the sea of crazy that is the world at the moment. Continue reading...

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