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Latest news and comment from Britain | 

European parliament chief visits Greece as bailout row grows - live updates

Rolling coverage of political and economic events in Greece and beyond, as Martin Schulz visits Athens*Introduction: First official EU visit to Athens*Greece want to link debt payments to growth*FT: Russian links cause alarm in Europe 10.00am GMT Greek government bonds continue to weaken in the financial markets. That has pushed the yield, or interest rate, on its five-year deb

Andy Murray v Tomas Berdych: Australian Open 2015 – live!

*Australian Open semi-final action from Melbourne Park*Pictures: our pick of the best images from the men’s semi-final*Serena Williams to meet Maria Sharapova in women’s singles final*Email or tweet @JacobSteinberg 9.59am GMT A steaming Murray stalks back to his chair and then tells the umpire that Berdych has been talking to him during the changeovers

Transfer news: all the latest updates – live!

*All the latest transfer window news and updates*The Rumour Mill: Chelsea target Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho?*Send thoughts to or tweet @NickMiller79 9.55am GMT Quick couple o’ lines from Italy, where according to most people Mattia Destro’s move from Roma to AC Meeeeeeeelan should be done and done today, while Roma are in the market for a winger, with

Surge in migrant voters could swing vote in key UK constituencies

Two seats may for first time be decided by migrants, who make up majority of voters, with parties warned not to ignore this electorateA record number of people who were born outside the UK will be able to vote in this year’s general election and are likely to hold the balance of power in several key constituencies, according to the first comprehensive analysis of the migrant vote.Almost 4 mi

Justin Welby’s Twitter sermon sounds like a plea for ecclesiastical discipline

At a time of unrest for the church, it’s no wonder the Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t want the church’s dirty linen aired onlineThe Archbishop of Canterbury has posted a blog warning Christians not to tweet their disagreements. Electronic communication, he says, lacks the human touch, and in particular the kinds of modulations of tone and the face-to-face aspects of relationships which make i

Number of English schools failing on GCSE targets doubles in a year

Worsening national perfomance follows a series of changes to the make-up of the GCSE league tablesThe headline measure of school performance in England has plunged dramatically in the wake of changes to exam rules and league tables, according to official figures for school GCSE results published by the Department for Education.The impact of the changes, along with a slight fall in GCSE grade

Search for trawler missing off Dover suspended due to bad weather

Stormy weather and gale-force winds hamper operation to rescue four crew members from Belgian-registered boatA search for a trawler that went missing in a gale in the Dover Strait on Wednesday with four fishermen on board has been suspended because of bad weather.The Belgian-registered 40-metre boat was last known to have entered “very challenging” seas in the Channel in gale-force winds. Th

Lil Wayne reportedly sues record label Cash Money for $51m

The New Orleans rapper filed a lawsuit against Cash Money and label owner Bryan ‘Birdman’ Williams, TMZ reportsLil Wayne continues to butt heads with his record label. The rapper has filed a $51m lawsuit against Cash Money records, and label CEO Bryan “Birdman” Williams, according to celebrity news site TMZ.Wayne claims he has not been paid his mult-million dollar advance for recording his

Black Sabbath's Geezer Butler arrested after bar brawl

Bassist spent the night in jail after fighting in a saloon in Death ValleyThe days when Black Sabbath were a byword for wildness haven’t completely ended, it appears. The band’s bass player and lyricist, Geezer Butler, spent Tuesday night in jail after a bar brawl in Death Valley, California.The 65-year-old musician was arrested after an altercation at the Corkscrew Saloon, in the Furnace

Australia's treatment of asylum seekers 'diminishes human rights record'

Human Rights Watch report also criticises government policies on indigenous incarceration and ‘draconian’ counterterrorism lawsAustralia’s global reputation as a defender of human rights is being undermined by its continued “harsh” treatment of asylum seekers, persistently high Indigenous incarceration rates, and “draconian” new anti-terrorism laws that restrict citizens’ freedom, the Human R

Oh lordy! The Ruling Class with James McAvoy – in pictures

Peter Barnes’s wickedly dark, surreal 1965 comedy is the latest classic to get transformed at Trafalgar Studios, London. Playing an earl with a messiah complex, James McAvoy heads a cast including Ron Cook, Serena Evans and Kathryn Drysdale. All photographs by Johan Persson Continue reading...

What Selma means now

As anti-racism protestors take to the streets, Gary Younge meets the team behind the making of the film, 50 years since the era-defining march celebrated in itWhen the film trailer for Primary Colors, based on a novel about the election campaign of a philandering southern Democratic president, came out in 1998, the Monica Lewinsky scandal was in full bloom. I saw it at a movie theatre in Virg

Climate change on Valentine's Day: what might you lose that you love?

Share what treasured things in your community could be affected by climate change or something you love about the planet that may be lost forever Environmental campaigners are calling for people to declare their love for the planet on 14 February – Valentine’s Day.The Climate Coalition, made up of more than 100 UK organisations campaigning for action on climate change, is asking people to

Andrew Miller to stand down as chief executive of Guardian Media Group

Miller to ‘explore other opportunities’ from mid-2015 after near five-year stewardship of publisher of theguardian.comAndrew Miller is to stand down after almost five years as chief executive of the Guardian Media Group (GMG), during which time the company behind the Guardian and Observer newspapers and has expanded overseas and increased digital revenues.Miller’s departure

Why Au Revoir les Enfants is the one film you should watch this week - video review

Peter Bradshaw recommends Louis Malle's 1987 autobiographical film, which takes place in a boys' boarding school towards the end of the second world war, explores French guilt surrounding antisemitism and the events that took place during the Holocaust. Au Revoir les Enfants returns to the cinema on 30 January with a re-release by the BFI in conjunction with Holocaust Memorial Day Continue reading

Isis sets sunset deadline for Jordan to free bomber and save hostage

Deal to swap jailed terrorist Sajida al-Rishawi for Jordanian pilot leaves unclear the fate of Japanese journalist Kenji GotoIslamic State has set a deadline of sunset on Thursday for the release of a failed suicide bomber after Jordan agreed to free her in return for a Jordanian pilot being held hostage by the group. But the fate of the Japanese journalist Kenji Goto, also in Isis captivity,

Sri Lanka plans fresh inquiry into human rights abuses during civil war

New government says it is considering investigation following refusal by former president to cooperate with UN probeSri Lanka is planning an investigation into accusations of human rights abuses in the final stages of a 26-year civil war amid international frustration at the failure to look into numerous civilian deaths, a government spokesman said.Former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was

Panama to launch corruption inquiry into former president

Special prosecutor to investigate Ricardo Martinelli over claims he inflated $45m-worth of contracts for government programmePanama’s supreme court has voted to launch a corruption investigation against former president Ricardo Martinelli, a move likely to rally popular support in a nation where the political elite rarely face justice for misdeeds.A statement from the court said all nine jud

Taylor Swift copyrights 'This Sick Beat'

Star protects a number of phrases from her 1989 album – so don’t think about using them on non-medicated scalp preparations or wind chimesNot content with having the best-selling US album of 2014, Taylor Swift has leapt into action to copyright certain key phrases from the album, to prevent them appearing on unauthorised merchandise.The legal database Justia notes that she has trademarked

Chinese couples urged to have more children

Just 5% of women of child-bearing age in Shanghai have taken advantage of change to one-child policy, figures showFor decades, most urban Chinese families could have only one child. Now officials in China’s biggest city are telling young couples: please have more children.Fan Hua, of Shanghai’s family planning commission, said fewer people than expected had taken advantage of a recent rule c

What’s in a name? How to christen a literary character

Whether it’s James – slang for a heel – or Quintilian Lightsaber Mordor Cantaloupe, a name does a lot of the heavy lifting when creating an identity. Better get it right“GANDHI!” the young Icelandic woman yelled at the top of her lungs, “STOP BITING DARWIN! STOP!”Gandhi – a massive Greenland dog tough enough to take on a bear – was apparently trying to gnaw the leg off Darwin, the team lea

Down with Debrett’s: an alternative guide to UK music's most influential

Debrett’s guide to ‘Britain’s 500 most influential people’ has been published, and its music category is dominated almost exclusively by white men. Caroline Sullivan lists her preferred contendersDebrett’s etiquette guide has for centuries provided the rules for handling ticklesome social situations, such as not knowing how to address an envelope to the widow of an earl (“The Dowager Countess

Thorn Birds author Colleen McCullough dies aged 77

Australian author of bestselling novel died in hospital on Norfolk Island, after suffering a string of health and eyesight problemsInternationally acclaimed Australian author Colleen McCullough has died, aged 77.The best-selling author died in hospital on Norfolk Island on Thursday afternoon, publisher HarperCollins Australia confirmed. Continue reading...

Bucket bags: the wish list – in pictures

Brightly coloured, shimmering bronze, with tassles or plain, the bucket bag is this season’s must-have accessory Continue reading...

McDonald’s chief executive steps down after sales slump

Briton Steve Easterbrook next in line as Thompson retires after investor frustrations at McDonald’s poor performanceMcDonald’s has announced the departure of its chief executive just days after the world’s biggest fast food chain reported its first fall in sales in 12 years.The company, which is losing US market share to rivals such as Shake Shack and Five Guys, said Don Thompson would ste

Where are the Real Tories? We need a party to halt the advance of the state

The Conservatives’ default ideology is Thatcherism, but this government splurges cash on vanity projectsThe trouble with David Cameron is that we don’t know what he stands for. How often do we hear this cry, not least from Conservatives? But what is he supposed to stand for? Two weeks ago I argued the need for a “real Labour” party. It was relatively easy. Labour can be defined by its interests

Does competitive sport in school do more harm than good?

With so much of the curriculum already target driven, journalist Matthew Jenkin questions whether the incentive to win in PE is either necessary or effectiveDouble Olympic champion Mo Farah’s athletic talent was spotted at an early age by his physical education teacher at Feltham community college in west London. Alan Watkinson was instrumental in channelling Farah’s energies into athletics a

True story of Mughal emperor who built Taj Mahal makes London debut

Staging of Dara by Shahid Nadeem is first time the National has adapted an original south Asian production for a British audienceThe story of Dara, the newest production to take to the boards at the National Theatre, is one that begins thousands of miles away from the concrete jungle of London’s South Bank.It is a play that made its debut four years ago in the Pakistani city of Lahore, befor

Churchill: The Nation’s Farewell – review: rottweiler Paxman admires bulldog Churchill but he’s no lapdog

Jeremy has mellowed since his Newsnight days and shows genuine affection for his subject, but this is no fawning hagiographyHow many rottweilers can you fit in a Mini? Just the one by the look of it if we’re talking proper old Issigonis mini Mini, not new BMW big Mini, and the rottweiler in question is Jeremy Paxman (1.91m tall).He’s had to crumple himself in and twist a bit sideways, to the

Teenage dreams: quiffs, kisses and the cults of youth – in pictures

Full of joy and rebellion, world-famous photographers capture a century of youth culture, from punks in garters to football fanatics*We Could Be Heroes is at the Photographers’ Gallery, London from 6 February to 12 April Continue reading...

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