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Updated: 4 days 17 hours ago

Argentina v USA: Rugby World Cup 2019 – live!

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 08:04

6.04am BST

11 mins. TMO Time!

Ezcurra picks and goes from the base of the scrum and absolutely smashes and runs over Te’o with his carry. He runs into the post but rolls around and grounds it. It looks a try, but there’s been a bit of holding spotted in the backplay with Lamborn being held in the scrum by Matera, preventing him breaking off to make the tackle. No try, penalty USA

6.01am BST

9 mins. Absolutely solid lineout from Los Pumas on the right touchline and they are swarming towards the Eagles line. The USA defensive line does its job but they’re a little too eager in the end and are called offside.

Argentina take the scrum in the shadow of the USA posts. Interesting call as the USA pack looked OK in the first scrum a few minutes ago.

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How putting NHS staff first is making hospitals better | Denis Campbell

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 08:00
Yoga, pilates and Dragons’ Den-style contests are among a host of innovations that are turning around failing trusts

How do failing NHS trusts get back to delivering high-quality care? The answer, a new study suggests, can involve emulating Dragons’ Den, the boss popping in at 3am – and staff doing less rather than more.

A report from NHS Providers sets out in detail how 11 trusts providing acute, ambulance and mental health care in England have used a negative rating from the Care Quality Commission as the catalyst for a turnaround in their fortunes.

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Reforming the Prevent strategy won’t work. It must be abolished | Ilyas Nagdee

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 08:00

A secret counter-terror database? I’ve experienced the Prevent programme firsthand – so nothing surprises me

• Ilyas Nagdee is a former NUS black students’ officer

The first-year law student too afraid to pick human rights law as a module at university. The student officer told to hand over a list of members of the Islamic society. One thing binds these together: the Prevent duty. This week the Guardian revealed that counter-terror police across the UK have been running a secret centralised database containing the details of the thousands of individuals who have been referred to Prevent, the government’s counter-radicalisation programme. Many of them, on the government’s own terms, were unworthy of referral – but fell victim to an increasing climate of suspicion.

Related: Counter-terror police running secret Prevent database

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Wonga customers' average compensation payout may be just £118

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 08:00

People who were mis-sold loans expected to get 10% of compensation they are owed

Customers who were mis-sold loans by the collapsed payday lender Wonga are expected to receive less than 10% of what they are owed in compensation after administrators revealed that only £41m will be put aside for claimants.

Administrators for Wonga, which collapsed last year, also revealed that they had scrapped plans to sell its loan book, saying there were doubts that bidders met the criteria, including properly approaching customers for debt payments on outstanding loans.

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'Alexa, are you invading my privacy?' – the dark side of our voice assistants

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 08:00

There are more than 100m Alexa-enabled devices in our homes. But are they fun time-savers or the beginning of an Orwellian nightmare

One day in 2017, Alexa went rogue. When Martin Josephson, who lives in London, came home from work, he heard his Amazon Echo Dot voice assistant spitting out fragmentary commands, seemingly based on his previous interactions with the device. It appeared to be regurgitating requests to book train tickets for journeys he had already taken and to record TV shows that he had already watched. Josephson had not said the wake word – “Alexa” – to activate it and nothing he said would stop it. It was, he says, “Kafkaesque”.

This was especially interesting because Josephson (not his real name) was a former Amazon employee. Three years earlier, he had volunteered to sit in a room reciting a string of apparently meaningless phrases into a microphone for an undisclosed purpose. Only when Amazon released the Echo in the US in 2014 did he realise what he had been working on. He bought a Dot, the Echo’s cheaper, smaller model, after it launched in 2016, and found it useful enough until the day it went haywire. When the Dot’s outburst subsided, he unplugged it and deposited it in the bin. “I felt a bit foolish,” he says. “Having worked at Amazon, and having seen how they used people’s data, I knew I couldn’t trust them.”

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Brexit is a necessary crisis – it reveals Britain’s true place in the world | David Edgerton

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 08:00

A determined ignorance of the dynamics of global capitalism is bringing about a long-overdue audit of British realities

Who backs Brexit? Agriculture is against it; industry is against it; services are against it. None of them, needless to say, support a no-deal Brexit. Yet the Conservative party, which favoured European union for economic reasons over many decades, has become not only Eurosceptic – it is set on a course regarded by every reputable capitalist state and the great majority of capitalist enterprises as deeply foolish.

If any prime minister in the past had shown such a determined ignorance of the dynamics of global capitalism, the massed ranks of British capital would have stepped in to force a change of direction. Yet today, while the CBI and the Financial Times call for the softest possible Brexit, the Tory party is no longer listening.

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Trump has handed over Isis fight in Syria, Turkey says, as offensive looms

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 07:06

Ankara says military will cross border ‘shortly’, and claims US president gave green light, contradicting US denials

The Turkish government claimed that Donald Trump has handed it the leadership of the military campaign against Isis, and warned its forces would be crossing into Syria “shortly”.

Kurdish military leaders inside Syria said they were braced for the invasion and claimed there had been an Isis attack on its former stronghold of Raqqa. But reports from the city suggested the attack had been small scale.

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'Going round in Merkels': papers spell out bleak prospects for Brexit deal

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 05:53

Front pages focus on Angela Merkel’s reportedly gloomy analysis but Times and FT suggest Irish talks offer last chance for Johnson

Another dramatic day in the three-year long Brexit process, and another day of dramatic front pages.

The Guardian’s splash is “Day the deal was doomed” with No 10 sources suggesting that “talks are in tatters”. “Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan appeared all but dead last night as the government admitted there was little prospect of a deal before 31 October after a day of furious recriminations,” it reports.

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Sanders returns home after heart attack but will 'change the nature of campaign'

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 05:04

‘I must confess, I was dumb,’ Sanders says outside home in Vermont, as campaign says he will be at next week’s debate

Senator Bernie Sanders indicated that he will “change the nature of the campaign a bit” after suffering a heart attack last week.

Venturing outside his Vermont home on Tuesday, the 78-year-old senator is slowly easing back into the 2020 presidential race, telling reporters he “should have listened to those symptoms”.

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Shell, Nigeria and a 24-year fight for justice – podcast

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 05:00

In 1995, the Nigerian government executed the Ogoni Nine – environmental activists who were trying to fight Shell’s exploitation of their homeland. Now, four widows are taking the oil company to court. And: Dan Sabbagh on the ramifications of Trump’s shock decision to withdraw from the Turkish-Syrian border

Earlier this year, a Dutch court ruled it had jurisdiction to determine whether Royal Dutch Shell was complicit in the Nigerian government’s 1995 execution of the Ogoni Nine – environmental protesters who fought against widespread pollution in the Niger Delta. This week, Shell’s alleged role in the killings is finally being examined by a court in The Hague.

The Guardian reporter Kate Hodal talks to Rachel Humphreys about the original trial, which was widely discredited as a sham, and the alleged collusion between Shell and the Nigerian government. Humphreys also talks to Esther Kiobel, whose husband, Dr Barinem Kiobel, was among the nine executed, and who has been fighting for justice ever since. Channa Samkalden, the lead lawyer on the case, explains the implications it might have for Shell.

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'Right here, right now': Fatboy Slim samples Greta Thunberg for live show

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 05:00

The dance artist electrifies crowd after mixing the climate activist’s UN speech slogan with his club favourite

Fatboy Slim has paid tribute to Greta Thunberg in a performance in Gateshead over the weekend, mixing her speech to the United Nations into a performance of his club favourite Right Here, Right Now.

The mash-up opens with Thunberg’s voice, delivering her blistering speech to world leaders about the climate crisis over the synth melody.

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Eco-warrior Swampy on Extinction Rebellion: 'It gives me hope'

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 04:58

After being fined for blocking oil refinery traffic, Daniel Hooper, once the public face of green activism, applauds new generation

More than two decades after Britain saw its first widespread environmental protests, Extinction Rebellion is the latest in the vanguard.

But while campaign groups have come and gone, it’s business as usual for Daniel Hooper, the veteran eco-warrior known as Swampy who says the latest protests give him “hope”.

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Gamers spend hours customising characters, but don't you dare mention fashion | Victoria Tran

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 03:49

Millions of people play games every day, and how they dress in those games matters. So why is talking about fashion off limits?

Ask any gamer and they can likely recount tales of how they spent hours perfecting their look in any video game with character customisation, from The Sims to Dragon Age: Inquisition to any massive multiplayer online game.

Customising a character is akin to creating our own animated artwork. It’s arguably one of the best parts of The Sims, for example, and people are ravenous for rare “skins” (better known to the non-gamer as, ahem, “outfits”) in games like Overwatch and Fortnite.

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Zantac in global recall over 'unacceptable' levels of potential carcinogen

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 03:34

Heartburn medicine pulled by GlaxoSmithKline while it investigates source of impurity

GlaxoSmithKline is recalling the popular heartburn medicine Zantac in all markets, days after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found “unacceptable” levels of probable cancer-causing impurity in the drug.

Zantac, also sold generically as ranitidine, is the latest drug in which cancer-causing impurities have been found. Regulators have been recalling some blood pressure and heart failure medicines since last year.

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Talking Horses: Godolphin pips John Magnier to £3.7m yearling

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 02:56

Winning bid for Dubawi half-brother to Barney Roy was the highest price paid for a yearling in Europe this year

The fierce rivalry between Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation and John Magnier’s Coolmore Stud moved from the racecourse to the sales ring, as the sport’s biggest players engaged in a bidding war for a Dubawi half-brother to Group One winner Barney Roy on the first day of Tattersalls’ prestigious Book 1 sale. The winning bid of 3.6m gns [£3.78m], eventually made on behalf of Godolphin, was the highest price paid for a yearling in Europe this year.

He is the most expensive purchase for Godolphin at Book 1 since Sheikh Mohammed paid 4m gns for the filly Gloam in 2017.

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Hong Kong professional gamer banned from tournament over pro-democracy comments

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 02:50
  • Chung ‘Blitzchung’ Ng Wai was expelled from Hearthstone event
  • Organizers announce one-year suspension and pull prize money
  • Chinese holding company Tencent owns stake in maker Blizzard

A leading professional gamer from Hong Kong who was expelled from an international esports tournament after showing support for the city’s protest movement has said he has no regrets.

Chung Ng Wai, who represents the Asia-Pacific region under the name Blitzchung, had just won a crucial match at the Hearthstone Grandmasters tournament hosted in Taipei when he exclaimed in Mandarin “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times” during a live-streamed interview.

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White House refuses to comply with impeachment inquiry

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 02:43

Eight-page letter to Democratic leaders sets stage for constitutional crisis, as legislative and executive branches clash

Donald Trump pushed the United States towards a constitutional crisis on Tuesday when his legal counsel said the White House would refuse to cooperate with Congress’s impeachment inquiry.

“Given that your inquiry lacks any legitimate constitutional foundation, any pretense of fairness, or even the most elementary due process protections, the Executive Branch cannot be expected to participate in it,” the counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives.

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Turkey vows to press ahead with attack on Kurdish-led forces in Syria

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 02:07

As Kurds claim border is already being shelled, US appears to backtrack but Ankara says it will not be ‘controlled by threats’

Turkey has signalled its intent to press ahead with an attack on US-backed Kurdish-led forces in north-east Syria despite confusion over US policy after officials appeared to backtrack on Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from the area.

The vice-president, Fuat Oktay, said Turkey would execute its own plans regarding national security and would not be “controlled by threats”.

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UCL workers to decide on strike action over 'unjust' outsourcing

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 02:01

Cleaners, porters and security workers exploited by university, say campaigners

Hundreds of cleaners, porters and security workers at University College London (UCL) are to be balloted on strike action as part of a campaign to end staff outsourcing.

Organisers say it promises to be the biggest strike yet of outsourced staff in UK higher education, with up to 300 workers demanding the same terms and conditions as their colleagues who are directly employed by UCL.

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Tony Blair warns Labour against letting SNP hold new referendum

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 02:01

Former prime minister says Jeremy Corbyn must avoid ‘horse-trading about the union’

Tony Blair has warned the Labour leadership against using the union as a bargaining chip and accused Boris Johnson of putting the future of the UK at risk over Brexit.

During a visit to Edinburgh, the former prime minister said it would be a “big mistake” for Jeremy Corbyn to enter into “horse-trading about the union”, when he was asked if the Labour leader should grant a section 30 order – which gives the Scottish National party the necessary legal powers to hold a second independence referendum – in order to secure their support at Westminster in the event of another hung parliament.

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