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Latest news and comment from Britain | 

Playwrights explore trauma and psychological damage of FGM

Team behind Little Stitches, BAREtruth's four-part play about female genital multilation, aims to open up debate on the issueThe poster is stamped with the statement that 137,000 women in the UK are living with the consequences of genital mutilation. But for the team behind the play Little Stitches, opening at a London theatre on Friday it is the individual stories behind the statistic that rea

Michael Winterbottoms Meredith Kercher movie: revealing truths through fiction

I wrote the book that The Face of an Angel is based on to keep Merediths memory alive, but the film laid bare unexpected stories behind the media circus and the murder caseNothing happens in a vacuum but strip away the spin, turn down the white noise, and you have a chance to re-examine the narrative. Or at least to give voice to the actual story.I have lately borne witness to this, during t

Max Chilton out of Belgian Grand Prix due to Marussia contract issues

Team cite unspecified contractual issues with driver Reserve driver Alexander Rossi will race for Marussia at SpaMax Chiltons future in Formula One is on the line as the Briton is out of Sundays Belgian Grand Prix due to what Marussia describe as contractual issues.That, however, is in stark contrast to the line being put forward by the management company representing the 23-year-old. Cont

Wild Nile: wildlife on the river Nile - in pictures

The river Niles source is the Ruwenzori mountain range in Uganda. Passing through Lake Victoria and Murchison Fall National Park, it makes its way through Ethiopian marshlands to its delta in the Mediterranean. Destination Wild: Wild Nile is on Sundays at 6pm on Nat Geo WILD. All photographs by Harald Pokiesser/Terra Mater Factual Studios/NGC Continue reading...

UK's warmest period record sparks call for greater climate action

Policy expert says figures showing January-July was the warmest since records began should increase urgency of effortsAn expert on climate change policy has called for more action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as it emerged the country saw the warmest period from January to July since records began in 1910. It was also the third-equal wettest such period for those months, the Met Offi

Richard Dawkins apologises for causing storm with Down's syndrome tweet

Author told woman on Twitter it would be immoral not to abort pregnancy if she knew baby had Down's syndromeRichard Dawkins has apologised for the "feeding frenzy" triggered by his tweet claiming it would be immoral to carry on with a pregnancy if the mother knew the foetus had Down's syndrome.The geneticist's latest Twitter row broke out after he responded to another user who said she would

Kate Bush, the queen of art-pop who defied her critics

The singer's much-anticipated series of concerts are a sell-out, her return to the stage heralded by critics everywhere. Yet her particular brand of carefully crafted fantasy was not always so widely acclaimedIn 2014, the idea of Kate Bush as a pop star seems almost unbelievable. Did it actually happen, that run of singles so strange and yet so strong that they rose to the higher reaches of the

Sea plankton have been found on the International Space Station but how did they get there?

Russian cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyev says the plankton were blown up into space by air currents on earthSea plankton have been found on the outside of the International Space Station, a Russian news agency reports.Itar-Tass says scientists on the space station, whose first component was launched into orbit in 1998, found the plankton a source of food to many sea creatures when taking sample

Eurozone recovery 'subdued and fragile'; UK deficit keeps growing - as it happened

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as private sector growth in the eurozone slows and job creation grinds to a halt*Closing summary*UK public finances disappoint...*...and retail sales growth slows*Summary: Eurozone job creation stalls*German economy bounces back*French factory activity drops, as economy stagnates 4.46pm BST Thats all for today. Heres

Global leftovers: what Airbnb guests bring to your fridge

From Koreans with mysterious vacuum-packed containers to Germans with brine-filled jars, opening your home to guests from around the world provides a fascinating insight into the eating habits of other nationalitiesThanks to Airbnb, I welcome a stream of international guests to my flat several times a week. They, in turn, fill their allocated fridge shelf with an array of intriguing, peculiar,

The west should take note: there is no avoiding Isis

The increased radicalisation of British jihadis, bolstered by an assured caliphate, has given the militant group global ambitionsFor those of who have followed the conflict in Syria and Iraq closely, it came as no surprise shocking though it was to discover that a seemingly British jihadist had beheaded the American journalist James Foley. Over the past year jihadists from this country have par

Stuart Murdoch on God Help the Girl: I never thought Id make a film

No one was more surprised than the Belle and Sebastian frontman himself when he started directing his first feature. But after a Kickstarter campaign and five weeks shooting on the streets of Glasgow, God Help the Girl has grown from an album to a movie musicalStuart Murdoch has never been short of determination. You dont become one of the worlds biggest cult bands on luck and a prayer alone

Animal activists vow to stop planned wild boar cull in Forest of Dean

Forestry Commission to shoot animals after explosion in numbers sparks debate on safety of region's residentsDrew Pratten was walking home through the forest by the light of a low moon when he found himself in the middle of a sounder a group of wild boar. "It was a primeval experience," he said. "I was face to face with a big male. He growled and I felt it in the pit of my stomach rather than h

Bank of America reaches record $17bn settlement over questionable mortgages

Justice Department deal with US bank is the largest fine ever levied by US authorities against a single companyBank of America has agreed to pay a record $16.65bn to settle charges it sold flawed mortgage securities in the run up to the financial crisis, the largest fine ever levied by US authorities on a single company.This morning we demonstrate once again that no institution is either t

Japanese Olympian turned MP denies sexually harassing skater at Sochi party

Seiko Hashimoto says she was showing Daisuke Takahashi same affection as she would any other athleteJapan's most celebrated Olympic athlete turned politician has denied sexually harassing a popular ice skater in a scandal that could embarrass the prime minister, Shinzo Abe, as he attempts to promote the role of women in public life.Seiko Hashimoto, who represented Japan in speed skating at f

Malky Mackay and Iain Moody face difficult future, says Keith Millen

Moody resigned after FA launch inquiry into alleged misconduct Millen says text message allegations may harm pair in futureThe Crystal Palace caretaker manager, Keith Millen, has said that it will be difficult for Malky Mackay and Iain Moody to return to the game if allegations of sending racist, homophobic and sexist text messages are proven true.Moody resigned as Palaces sporting direc

Hamas official: we were behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers

Claim by Saleh al-Arouri, a founder of Hamas's military wing, is doubted by experts and not supported by other Hamas sourcesA veteran Hamas official has said that the Islamist group was behind the kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank an incident that was a major trigger for the current brutal war in Gaza.Saleh al-Arouri, one of the founders of Hamas's military wing, made hi

Albert Reynolds obituary

Taoiseach remembered for his skill as a dealmaker and for his crucial part in bringing peace to Northern IrelandAs the taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland from 1992, Albert Reynolds, who has died aged 81 after suffering from Alzheimer's disease, is credited, along with his British counterpart John Major, with a crucial role in energising the long-drawn-out peace process in Northern Ireland. I

Kelly Reichardt: My films are just glimpses of people passing through

The Night Moves director supplements her income by teaching, but still couch-hops and doesnt own anything. But her films are nudging their way towards the mainstreamKelly Reichardt makes small, hushed films about the invisible flotsam of the American west. Her natural subjects are the drifters and the outcasts, the barely getting by. Her natural habitat is the lonesome campfire and the railro

Two Days, One Night (Deux Jours, Une Nuit) review Marion Cotillard gives a supremely intelligent performance

Marion Cotillard is outstanding as a desperate mother lobbying co-workers for her job back in this agonising social drama from the Dardenne brothersThe Dardenne brothers may have outdone themselves with this heartwrenching film; it is set to be a classic drama of working lives and, in its way, a classic trade union drama though one in which trade unions are conspicuous by their absence. The sub

For a shining example of trade unionism, look no further than football

The Professional Footballers Association shows what can be achieved when everyone is working for the same goalThe socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. Thats how I see football, thats how I see life. So said Bill Shankly, legend of Liverpool Football Club.Liverpool fans (like me) who lovingly quote Shanklys words are often

Lucy review Scarlett Johansson is a badass brainbox in Besson's thriller

Luc Besson's thriller about a drug mule who accidentally goes superpowered is a mess but an eccentric, fleetingly enjoyable mess, at leastLuc Besson's new film rehashes 2011's Limitless with guns, cleavage and Malickesque pretensions, casting Scarlett Johansson as a moll-turned-mule transformed by her wonderdrug cargo into a high-functioning badass capable of taking down every last gangster in

John Lewis risks playing Scrooge in Christmas cake cut

Retailer scaling back on free tea and cake rewards for 1 million loyal customers in the runup to the festive seasonJohn Lewis customers who have enjoyed free cake and hot drinks as part of a loyalty scheme are to have their calorie intake cut after the retailer announced it was scaling back the offer in the runup to Christmas.Since last October, the retailers rewards programme My John Lewis

Ice bucket challenge: a celebrity wet T-shirt contest that has nothing to do with charity

Column inches and YouTube views don't equate to cold hard cash for motor neurone disease. But the real issue is: why did Olly Murs have to beg for a nomination? Josie Cunningham wants £3m to disappear and other 'celebs' could follow suitNever one to shy away from the big issues, two years ago this fearless Lost in Showbiz correspondent threw his hat in the Pulitzer ring by proposing that in a

Your 10 wildest job interview stories: 'Full-frontal naked picture on the CV'

Free advice to future employees the world over: do not do any of these things, everMany of us struggle with first impressions: first interviews, first dates, first days of school, first times the bad ones are the most difficult to erase. But there is something about turning our own painful experiences into stories humour ascribes some value to a moment wed rather forget. All we can do is s

John Ellis Roberts obituary

Head warden of the Snowdonia national park who brought professionalism to mountain rescueJohn Ellis Roberts, who has died aged 70 in a climbing accident, was for more than three decades head warden of the Snowdonia national park, and a prime mover in setting the mountain rescue organisation in north Wales on a more professional footing.In 1965, he qualified as a mountain guide and was appoin

Former England star Paul Gascoigne signs for Sunday league side

Gascoigne, 47, accepts offer to join parks side Abbey FC Manager Chris Foster: Its an honour to have him involvedPaul Gascoigne is set to make his return to football after a journey for cigarettes led him to meet taxi driver and Abbey FC manager Chris Foster who convinced the former England international to sign for the Hayward Sunday League side.The 47-year-old enjoyed a glittering profess

Two men arrested after South African worker is 'pelted to death with oranges'

Police in Limpopo province await details of autopsy after body is found with no visible injuryTwo men in rural South Africa are suspected of killing a farmworker by using oranges as missiles, according to police.Citing witness accounts, the police lieutenant-colonel Moatshe Ngoepe said the suspects had allegedly argued with the man, then collected oranges and begun hurling them at him. Cont

BBC staff acted appropriately in Cliff Richard coverage, says director general

Tony Hall backs journalists after accusations of witch-hunt from MPs and others over live broadcast of raid on stars homeBBC director general Tony Hall has said BBC journalists acted appropriately in their coverage of the police raid on Sir Cliff Richards flat following sexual assault allegations.The raid on the pop stars penthouse caused controversy when the corporation broke news of the se

Police release video of fatal Kajieme Powell shooting in St. Louis

Authorities release recordings of death that came amid extreme tension in nearby Ferguson over Michael Brown killingPolice in St Louis, Missouri have released video and audio recordings of theshooting on Tuesday of Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old man described as behaving erratically and carrying a knife when officers arrived on the scene. One video, taken by a witness with a phone camera, s

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