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Latest news and comment from Britain | 

Queen's speech preparations under way as Cameron hosts Juncker - Politics live

Join our politics team for all the latest reaction to the PM’s meeting with European Commission president at Chequers 8.50am BST Nicola Sturgeon has attacked Westminster spending cuts in her first speech on the economy since the general election.Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Queen’s speech, Sturgeon also reiterated her support for Britain’s continued membership of the European union.

Euro hit by fears Greece will miss IMF repayment - live updates

All the latest economic and financial news, as talks between Greece and her creditors resume in Brussels*Introduction: Greek officials to meet lenders again*Euro hit by Greek jitters*Spanish bonds drop after regional election 8.42am BST Traders are also blaming Klaus Regling, the head of the European Stability Mechanism, for today’s euro selloff.“There is little time left... Th

UK pornography industry proposes user ID checks for adult websites

Scheme to verify visitors’ identity with organisations such as banks and mobile providers has support but critics say there are privacy concernsBritons may soon face identity checks to access adult material on the internet, according to discussions between Whitehall and the private sector.A scheme proposed by the pornography industry would see adult sites verifying visitors’ identity with

U2 feared tour would end after one show when The Edge fell off stage

‘I completely lost track of where I was on the stage,’ guitarist says of his tumbleThe members of U2 feared their Innocence and Experience tour was going to end on its opening night when The Edge fell off the stage in Vancouver earlier this month. Bassist Adam Clayton said he was “sick in the pit of my stomach”, while drummer Larry Mullen Jr said he feared the tour might “start and end in the

Malaysia mass graves: villagers tell of migrants emerging from secret jungle camps

Residents on the border village of Wang Kelian fear the worst as they reveal stories of desperate migrants who stumbled into their midstThe residents of Wang Kelian sensed something was amiss when a number of people stumbled on to their streets, weak and injured, and began to beg for food and water. “They would walk into my shop, with injuries covering their hands and feet. Some were just

Marikana survivors sue Zuma to force release of official report into massacre

South African president has refused to say when he will publish report of lengthy official inquiry into the 2012 shooting of striking mineworkers by police Survivors of the Marikana mine massacre are taking the South African president, Jacob Zuma, to court in an attempt to force the release of an official investigation into the killings.The shootings by police in August 2012 left 34 minewo

Japan joins US-Australian military exercise in July for first time

Talisman Sabre, a two-yearly drill, will involve about 27,000 service men and women, and will be a display of cooperation between the US and its allies Japanese troops will take part in a major US-Australian military exercise for the first time in July, as Washington looks to strengthen links among its allies in the face of an increasingly assertive China.Japan’s ground self-defence force

EU referendum: Don't leave us this way, Europe tells UK

Journalists at five European newspapers sum up the public mood towards the possible ‘Brexit’ that may follow Britain’s vote on EU membershipDavid Cameron’s plan for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union leaves the UK’s EU status more precarious that at any point for 40 years. But what do continental powers feel about the possibility of Brexit – a British EU exit? Five

Wake Up, Sir! by Jonathan Ames review – reinventing Jeeves and Wooster

A superb and audacious take on PG Wodehouse that turns Bertie Wooster into a neurotic American“Hilarious”, says a quote on the front of this book. The same word is repeated four times, in quotes from reputable American publications. You can understand why British publishers might want to exploit this. Still, I’ll be the judge of that, I thought, and then started on this odd and most extraordi

Skyping with the enemy: I went undercover as a jihadi girlfriend

When a French journalist posed online as a young woman interested in Isis, she was soon contacted by a fighter in Syria. He proposed marriage – but could she maintain a double life?It was 10 o’clock on a Friday night in spring 2014 and I was sitting on the sofa in my one-bed Paris apartment when I received a message from a French terrorist based in Syria: “Salaam alaikum, sister. I see you watc

France and Germany agree closer eurozone ties without EU treaty change

Proposals to be presented at EU summit in June will come as a blow to David Cameron who will table British pre-referendum demands at same meetingGermany and France have forged a pact to integrate the eurozone without reopening the EU’s treaties, in a blow to David Cameron’s referendum campaign.Sidestepping Britain’s demands to renegotiate the Lisbon treaty and Britain’s place in the EU, th

At least 20 Kenyan police killed in suspected al-Shabaab attack

Police reportedly ambushed by gunmen in Yumbis village as they went to the rescue of colleagues wounded when their vehicle hit a landmineAt least 20 Kenyan police officers have been killed in an ambush by suspected al-Shabaab gunmen in a village in the eastern county of Garissa, Kenyan media reported.The Standard and Daily Nation newspapers said the officers were killed in Yumbis village,

Ben Stokes inspires England to win thrilling Test against New Zealand

• England 389 & 478; New Zealand 523 & 220• England win by 124 runs• Day five at Lord’s; as it happenedBank holiday Monday. People’s Day at Lord’s, Dad and his lad for 20 quid. Ninety minutes before play and the queue for tickets already stretched three or four deep around two sides of the ground and up the Wellington Road to St John’s Wood tube station. By noon 20,000 were in the stands, w

Carlo Ancelotti: Real Madrid confirm the departure of manager

• Italian will leave his post with immediate effect • Ancelotti expected to take a break next season due to back surgery • Ancelotti’s surgery set to rule him out of running for West Ham job • Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard makes first-team debut at age 16Real Madrid have confirmed the departure of Carlo Ancelotti after two seasons at the Santiago Bernabéu. Florentino Pérez, the Real presid

Biden calls Iraqi PM to calm outcry over Carter remarks on fight against Isis

*Criticism of Iraqi forces based on ‘incorrect information’ says Baghdad*Iranian military commander says US has ‘no will’ to fight Isis Related: John McCain mocks Obama for calling climate change a threat as Isis advances Vice-President Joe Biden on Monday spoke to the Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, to reassure him of US support, a day after controversial remarks by the defense

O2 signal loss: Outcry from users as business secretary tells company to 'sort it out'

Business secretary urges phone provider to “sort it out” after people in Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Glasgow and parts of Northern Ireland go without serviceThe business secretary, Sajid Javid, has urged phone provider O2 to “sort it out” after a flood of complaints from people who had lost the signal on their mobile telephones. He tweeted “No signal O2. Please sort it out” as annoyed cu

How to solve it! Cheryl's birthday puzzle part two: Denise's revenge

The last word onAlbert, Bernard, Cheryl and Denise. With workings. Guzzlers, how did you get on? Let me first restate the problem. Albert, Bernard and Cheryl became friends with Denise, and they wanted to know when her birthday is. Denise gave them a list of 20 possible dates._Albert: I don’t know when Denise’s birthday is, but I know that Bernard does not know.__Bernard: I still don

Dual-national jihadists face loss of citizenship, but not sole nationals yet

Coalition will introduce bill within weeks granting immigration minister power to strip citizenship, even if person had not been convictedTony Abbott will push ahead with proposed changes to strip dual citizens of their Australian nationality if they are suspected of terrorism, but has deferred a decision on strong new powers against sole nationals after a cabinet backlash.The prime minist

Syrian refugees in the UK: ‘We will be good people. We will build this country’

Four million people have left their wartorn homeland – the UK has offered shelter to just 187, leaving more to risk their lives getting here on unsafe boats or smuggled in lorries. Two of those welcomed here recount their journey*Syrian refugees: getting to the UK – videoSince the conflict in Syria began in 2011, around 12 million people have been displaced by the fighting and almost 4 mil

Could thieves use jamming technology to steal your car?

Theoretical attack becomes real as criminals begin using jammers to block remote locking car keysNext time you come back to your car and find it unlocked it might not be because you forgot to lock it – a thief sitting nearby might have actually stopped you locking your car without you knowing.For years science fiction has depicted criminals, governments and security forces being able to bl

Four legs good: a history of photographing animals – in pictures

Lolcats might be a very modern fixation, but humans have been photographing animals ever since we invented the camera. From Eadweard Muybridge’s galloping horses to the wild dogs of present-day South Africa, the animal world offers an endless source of fascination Continue reading...

Why are TV writers fawning over royalty?

A slew of upcoming dramas on monarchs past and present all steer clear of controversy and complexityBy tradition, the British royal family is guaranteed 15 minutes of TV exposure each year through the monarch’s Christmas Day address. However, the Windsors and their Germanic ancestors are currently establishing a much more impressive broadcasting empire.ITV has just announced an eight-part dr

Syrian refugees in Lebanon camp reliant on 'hell water' that reduces metal to rust

Poor management of resources, political stalemate and an influx of Syrians fleeing war to settlements like Shatila have exacerbated Lebanon’s water crisisWater at Shatila refugee camp in Beirut’s southern suburbs is now so salty and ridden with chemicals that metal cutlery rusts after less than half an hour’s exposure to the brine.“Imagine having water so bad that you can’t have metal cutl

Home or away – is student accommodation becoming a luxury?

With the price of university halls or digs doubling in a decade, we look at the pros and cons of living with your parents while studying*Applying to university? Consult the Guardian University Guide 2016For Abla Klaa, one of the main perks of living with her parents while studying is that the fridge is always stocked. “I’m saved from worrying about grocery shopping or choosing between a gr

The Night Bus – review: all normal behaviour on this route is suspended

The passengers appearing on Channel 4’s rigged documentary play up to the cameras, never for a moment forgetting that they are being filmed. Plus: a justifiable hatchet job, Churchill: When Britain Said NoThere is a moment in the final episode of the entertaining documentary series The Night Bus (Channel 4) that sums up why it could never quite be what it wanted to be. A French couple on the to

Erno Rubik: how we made Rubik’s Cube

Erno Rubik: ‘I experimented in my mother’s flat, making a prototype out of wood, rubber bands and paper clips’Professor Erno Rubik, inventorIn the mid-1970s, I was teaching design at the Academy of Applied Arts in Budapest. I was searching for a way to demonstrate 3D movement to my students and one day found myself staring into the River Danube, looking at how the water moved around the pe

What is the safest city in the world?

Urban safety isn’t just about avoiding muggings. Sanitation, immigration and even air-traffic control all matter – often in ways you wouldn’t imagineIt’s not a recent initiative, but as far as unusual – and effective – measures to improve road-traffic safety go, mime is still hard to beat. In the mid-90s, Bogotá’s then-mayor, Antanas Mockus, employed more than 400 mime artists to stand guard

A question of etiquette: do you hold the door for others?

American researchers stake out a door and find it far from an open and shut caseWhether one person holds a door open for another is not simply a question of etiquette, says a study by Joseph P Santamaria and David A Rosenbaum of Pennsylvania State University. No, they say. Nothing simple about it.Santamaria and Rosenbaum worked to pursue the answer through a tangle of belief, logic, probabil

Labour must take time for a fundamental rethink about education

The party has an opportunity to look at the big questions for the future and rebuild its relationship with teachersNow the dust has settled after the election, the Department of Education seems not to have changed much. Same secretary of state, same ministers and nothing so far to indicate that it won’t be the same agenda. Nicky Morgan may surprise us now that she can move on from just “not bei

The Jonathan Cape/Observer/Comica graphic short story prize 2015 – enter now!

Here’s your chance to make an impact in the world of graphic novels – and appear in the Observer New ReviewThe 2015 Jonathan Cape/_Observer_/Comica graphic short story prize has been running for eight years, discovering the writers and artists of the future. If you dream of being one of them, then do not miss your chance to enter (see the advertisement below).The first prize is £1,000 and th

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