• Fewer deals but Black Friday could be biggest yet

    Fewer deals but Black Friday could be biggest yet
    Analysts say this year's sale will be the biggest ever, but retailers won't offer as many discounts.
  • Covid live: WHO and Europe class Omicron as variant of concern; US and Canada bring in travel curbs

    Covid live: WHO and Europe class Omicron as variant of concern; US and Canada bring in travel curbs
    ECDC follows WHO in threat assessment of new variant; countries bar foreign nationals from several southern African nations; UK sees most new infections for a monthFirst European case of new Covid variant detected in BelgiumB.1.1.529 variant ‘most worrying we’ve seen’, says UK medical adviserWhat do we know about the new ‘worst ever’ Covid variant?Tell us: how are you affected by the southern Africa travel restrictions?Hungary needs to increase the number of people
  • Stephen Sondheim: a daring and dazzling musical theatre icon

    Stephen Sondheim: a daring and dazzling musical theatre icon
    The American composer and lyricist, who has died aged 91, shaped the musical artform with his wise, witty and extravagantly clever workStephen Sondheim achieved such acclaim – for deepening the content and extending the lyrical ingenuity of musical theatre – that, from the age of 50, each major birthday was celebrated with tribute concerts in London, New York or both.Watching the composer-lyricist of Sweeney Todd and Follies at such events – taking a bow, with his wry smile &nd
  • Stephen Sondheim: master craftsman who reinvented the musical dies aged 91

    Stephen Sondheim: master craftsman who reinvented the musical dies aged 91
    Scoring his first big hit with West Side Story at 27, the US composer and lyricist raised the art form’s status with moving and funny masterpieces including Follies and Company‘His songs are like a fabulous steak’: an all-star toast to SondheimStephen Sondheim, the master craftsman of the American musical, has died at the age of 91. His death, at his home in Roxbury, Connecticut, on Friday has prompted tributes throughout the entertainment industry and beyond. Andrew Lloyd Webb
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  • Storm Arwen: man dies in Northern Ireland as red warning issued for parts of UK

    Storm Arwen: man dies in Northern Ireland as red warning issued for parts of UK
    Maximum alert for wind from 3pm Friday to 2am Saturday on east coast in northern England and Scotland as first winter storm rolls inThe Met Office has issued a rare “red” weather alert, warning of gusts in excess of 80mph in parts of northern England and Scotland as Storm Arwen sweeps in this weekend, bringing high winds and disruption to much of the UK. A man in Northern Ireland was killed after his car was hit by a falling tree in Antrim on Friday. Continue reading...
  • Exeter’s Sam Simmonds leaves it late to crush Bath’s hopes of a first win

    Exeter’s Sam Simmonds leaves it late to crush Bath’s hopes of a first win
    Bath 16-23 ExeterChiefs eke out hard-fought victory over struggling hostsThe Gallagher Premiership season is more than three months old and a despondent Bath still cannot buy a win. They came agonisingly close here but ultimately could not quite seal the deal, a well-taken 77th-minute try from their number eight Sam Simmonds securing Exeter a scrappy, hard-earned victory.Bath are now up to eight games without a win and trail the field by eight points with their fixture list offering little prosp
  • Ralf Rangnick’s arrival is a response to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea revolution | Barney Ronay

    Ralf Rangnick’s arrival is a response to Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea revolution | Barney Ronay
    Manchester United enlisting one of the traiblazers of hard pressing adds spice to a meeting with his thriving protegeEd Woodward always gets his man. Or at least, Ed Woodward always gets a man. Give Manchester United’s chief executive his due. People definitely keep turning up.There is probably some kind of method in the decision to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjær with Ralf Rangnick: the leap from a managerial style based around vibes, DNA and warm feelings to Europe’s most unforgi
  • Teófimo López: ‘I don’t get nervous. I’ve learned to flow like water’

    Teófimo López: ‘I don’t get nervous. I’ve learned to flow like water’
    World lightweight champion says he has found a new ‘in-look’ before facing challenger George Kambosos on SaturdayJust hours after he became a father, Teófimo López, the most charismatic fighter on the planet and one of the best pound-for-pound boxers at work today, leans back in his car in Las Vegas and talks about joy and adversity, babies and tattoos, depression and love. The roof of his car is rolled open and sunshine lights up his face despite the shadows of the pas
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  • Seamus Jennings on Boris Johnson and the Channel migrant crisis – cartoon

    Seamus Jennings on Boris Johnson and the Channel migrant crisis – cartoon
    Continue reading...
  • Cricket has made a start in tackling discrimination – it must see it through | Chris Grant

    Cricket has made a start in tackling discrimination – it must see it through | Chris Grant
    Though shying away from admitting structural racism, English cricket has admitted it needs wholesale reform. It’s a startThere is a maxim in modern, systemic approaches to leading organisations through change: “They say that, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. The truth is that, if you don’t acknowledge you’re part of the problem, you can never effectively become part of the solution.”In the run-up to last week’s hastil
  • Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi draw chess world title opener after flag furore

    Carlsen and Nepomniachtchi draw chess world title opener after flag furore
    Russian flag banned in buildup to showdown in DubaiDefending champion Carlsen says he ‘was a little bit shaky’Simmering tension on the board, unexpected drama off it. Magnus Carlsen’s defence of his world chess title in Dubai began with a 45-move draw against his Russian challenger Ian Nepomniachtchi – and a surprise intervention by the World Anti-Doping Agency.The first game of the 14-match encounter, which has a prize fund of €2m, was eagerly followed by hundreds o
  • Post haste: Alabama police investigate mystery of ravine full of FedEx packages

    Post haste: Alabama police investigate mystery of ravine full of FedEx packages
    ‘River of boxes’ numbering up to 400 found dumped, prompting rush to rescue and deliver the mail – and to find culpritAn Alabama sheriff was on Friday trying to figure out how hundreds of FedEx packages ended up dumped in the woods.An estimated 300 to 400 packages of various sizes were found in a ravine near the small town of Hayden on Wednesday, the Blount county sheriff said. Continue reading...
  • Omicron variant spreads to Europe as UK announces countermeasures

    Omicron variant spreads to Europe as UK announces countermeasures
    Experts stress importance of delaying import of new Covid variant to UK to avoid Christmas mixingCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAs an alarming new Covid variant spread to Europe on Friday, scientists warned that it would inevitably reach Britain, while ministers faced calls to urgently speed up the vaccination programme.Thousands of travellers were left stranded or with their plans in disarray after flight bans were introduced targeting countries across souther
  • Intimate Perspectives on North Korea by Fabian Muir – in pictures

    Intimate Perspectives on North Korea by Fabian Muir – in pictures
    Fabian Muir’s composition of images from inside North Korea give a delicate insight into the shuttered nation. Documented over two years the images reveal a complexity and nuance residing in their society.Fabian’s exhibition is showing for the first time at the Head On photo festival in Sydney Continue reading...
  • Great Barrier Reef: how a spectacular coral spawning event is helping to breed heat-tolerant corals

    Great Barrier Reef: how a spectacular coral spawning event is helping to breed heat-tolerant corals
    Scientists have carefully collected spawn bundles by moonlight in a bid to help save the reefIt’s nearing 10pm, and Dr Kate Quigley is still waiting. Using red lights to minimise disruption to the animals’ behaviour, she is inspecting corals.Quigley, who studies reef restoration at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, is looking for “little red dots all over the surface”. A pimply appearance is a hallmark sign that a coral is about to spawn, releasing sperm and egg
  • Breakfast with Alice Zaslavsky: parsnip and potato latkes – recipe

    Breakfast with Alice Zaslavsky: parsnip and potato latkes – recipe
    Just in time for Hanukkah, the In Praise of Veg author shares her crispy, golden latkes recipe, in celebration of all things fried Alice Zaslavsky describes her parsnip and potato latkes as “like an edible plate”, but the lacy, crunchy, deep-golden latkes are wonderful even on their own. Once topped with creme fraiche, dill, finely sliced pickled beet or smoked salmon (and roe, if you’re feeling very fancy), they’re more than worthy of a little reverence.Eating oily, frie
  • The Guardian view on the Omicron variant: caution needed | Editorial

    The Guardian view on the Omicron variant: caution needed | Editorial
    We do not yet know how much of a threat it poses, but the pandemic has already shown it is better to act earlyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageHearts are sinking. Many had hoped the worst of the pandemic was over, enjoying a return to quasi-normality despite warnings that this winter could prove punishing. Now Covid cases are surging across Europe; rates are rising in the UK again after a half-term dip; and the new Omicron variant detected in South Africa is ring
  • Shoppers go to town as UK rings in biggest-ever Black Friday sales day

    Shoppers go to town as UK rings in biggest-ever Black Friday sales day
    Data from banks and card issuers suggests consumers on track to spend almost £9.2bn this weekendThe UK has rung up its biggest Black Friday sales day ever, data suggests, with shoppers spending more than one-fifth more than last year as the high street bounced back from pandemic lockdowns. The number of payments via Barclaycard, one of the UK’s biggest debit and credit card issuers, were up 23% between midnight and 5pm compared with the same period in 2020, when most of the UK high s
  • The Guardian view on clergy on TV: not just ‘rogues or idiots’ | Editorial

    The Guardian view on clergy on TV: not just ‘rogues or idiots’ | Editorial
    Anglican vicars may often be portrayed as bland, benign and bumbling, but the Archbishop of Canterbury is missing somethingThe Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has complained in a speech of the injustice of TV depictions of clergy. “They are portrayed as rogues or idiots,” he said. “The reality is very different – it is actually of hard-working, normal people, caring deeply about what they do and working all the hours there are to do it.”It is true that Jane
  • BioNTech says it could tweak Covid vaccine in 100 days if needed

    BioNTech says it could tweak Covid vaccine in 100 days if needed
    Company says it will know in two weeks whether current Pfizer jab is effective against Omicron variantCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBioNTech says it could produce and ship an updated version of its vaccine within 100 days if the new Covid variant detected in southern Africa is found to evade existing immunity.The German biotechnology company is already investigating whether the vaccine it developed with US drugmaker Pfizer works well against the variant, named
  • Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial ‘over-hyped’, brother insists

    Ghislaine Maxwell sex-trafficking trial ‘over-hyped’, brother insists
    British socialite is accused of grooming girls as young as 14 to have sex with disgraced financier Jeffrey EpsteinBefore opening arguments in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial for allegedly aiding the late financier Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of minor girls, the Briton’s brother protested over what he called “the most over-hyped trial of the century”.A family member would be in court at all times from Monday to show support, Ian Maxwell told the Associated Press. A woma
  • Ava White: Merseyside police examine CCTV after killing of 12-year-old

    Ava White: Merseyside police examine CCTV after killing of 12-year-old
    Four boys arrested on suspicion of murder after Ava White suffered ‘catastrophic injuries’ in LiverpoolPolice are trawling hundreds of hours of CCTV and camera phone footage to piece together how a 12-year-old girl was stabbed to death in a busy shopping street in Liverpool.Ava White, an “incredibly popular” girl who had been made an “peace ambassador” in 2019, died after suffering “catastrophic injuries” on Church Street in the city centre on Thur
  • Letting Hammond off shows PM won’t tackle corruption, says Labour

    Letting Hammond off shows PM won’t tackle corruption, says Labour
    Former chancellor to face no action despite official ruling against his use of government connectionsLabour has accused the government of not being serious about tackling sleaze after ministers declined to punish or reprimand the Conservative former chancellor Philip Hammond for using his government connections to help a bank he is paid to advise.Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said the government had “muzzled its own watchdog” after it emerged that no action would be ta
  • Jimmie Durham obituary

    Jimmie Durham obituary
    Controversial artist whose work explored Native American imagery and themesIn 1986 the artist Jimmie Durham, who had died aged 81, lay down on a large sheet of canvas and asked his partner to score the shape of his body. To this outline he attached a crudely chiselled mask apparently depicting his own face, complete with synthetic hair, feathers, and shells for ears. On the canvas he scrawled in thick, handwritten capitals, curling over the right shoulder: “Hello I’m Jimmie Durham, I
  • ‘A tragedy’: tributes to Ava White after Liverpool Christmas lights killing

    ‘A tragedy’: tributes to Ava White after Liverpool Christmas lights killing
    Shocked mourners leave flowers and cards near scene where 12-year-old was stabbed on Thursday nightThe news of 12-year-old Ava White’s death spread slowly across Liverpool on Friday morning. Christmas shoppers, unaware of her killing, came into the city centre to be greeted by police cordons closing off much of Church Street and surrounding areas where the stabbing took place on Thursday night.“She was everyone’s baby. It could have been anyone’s child,” said 51-yea
  • Adele dominates UK charts with double No 1, highest first week sales since 2017

    Adele dominates UK charts with double No 1, highest first week sales since 2017
    New album 30 eclipses first-week sales of Abba’s Voyage, while singer occupies three out of five slots in the UK Top 5 singlesAdele has scored the highest opening week for an album in 2021, beating Abba’s recent blockbuster return.Her fourth album, 30, notched chart sales of 261,000, a figure derived from streaming, downloads and physical sales (including 16,700 copies shifted on vinyl). It’s the biggest first week sales figure since Ed Sheeran’s Divide in 2017, and beats
  • Labour must stand up for refugees | Letters

    Labour must stand up for refugees | Letters
    Anthony Whitston thinks that the Conservative government has no intention of having an honest discussion about safe, legal routes to the UK, and Labour doesn’t have the courageYour editorial (The Guardian view on deaths in the Channel: the tide of xenophobia, 25 November) rightly calls for an honest discussion about safe and legal routes to the UK. The Conservative government has no intention of doing so, and the Labour party doesn’t have the courage. The former makes vague reference
  • Baby ban is a far cry from my time as a councillor | Letter

    Baby ban is a far cry from my time as a councillor | Letter
    After Stella Creasy was reprimanded for bringing her newborn into the Commons, Amanda Baker recalls breastfeeding her two children while serving on Newcastle city council some 30 years ago without issueRe Stella Creasy’s article (Here’s why my baby was banned from parliament – and why we must all fight this, 25 November), are we stuck in a never-ending time-wasting loop? Yes, dragging a horde of toddlers into the Commons would be mad, but why not allow a quiet breastfed baby, t
  • US officials say Merck Covid pill effective but questions remain over pregnancy

    US officials say Merck Covid pill effective but questions remain over pregnancy
    FDA scientists consider possible toxicity and birth defects before public meeting next weekUS federal health regulators say an experimental Covid-19 pill from Merck is effective but will seek input from outside experts on risks of birth defects and other problems during pregnancy.The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted its analysis of the pill before a public meeting next week where academic and other experts will weigh in. The agency isn’t required to follow the group’s advice
  • FTSE 100 hit by biggest fall since June 2020 amid new variant fears

    FTSE 100 hit by biggest fall since June 2020 amid new variant fears
    Travel, aviation and oil stocks around world badly hit as worries deepen over effect of fresh Covid wave on global economyOil prices plunge as new Covid variant spooks marketsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageStock markets around the world plunged on Friday as investors sold off shares, commodities and cryptocurrencies amid concerns that a new coronavirus variant, described as potentially the worst so far identified, could usher in a fresh wave of global pandemic

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