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23 января, 17:24

Mott the Hoople bassist Peter Overend Watts dies, aged 69

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The musician was the prime mover behind the glam-era band’s distinctive imageMott the Hoople bassist Peter Overend Watts has died at the age of 69. He had been suffering from throat cancer.His Mott bandmate, Ian Hunter – the group’s singer – tweeted: “Oh dear. My extremely eccentric, lovely mate – Peter Overend Watts – has left the building. Devastated.” Continue reading...

23 января, 17:05

Sinn Féin names Michelle O'Neill as new leader in Northern Ireland

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O’Neill, 40, replaces Martin McGuinness, who will not be standing in forthcoming assembly elections due to ill-healthNorthern Ireland’s outgoing health minister, Michelle O’Neill, has been named the new leader of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland.It means that if Sinn Féin returns to the Stormont assembly after the 2 March election, the 40-year-old could become either deputy first minister or even first minister depending on how well the party does in the polls. Continue reading...

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23 января, 17:00

The UK’s economy is London-centric. Brexit is the chance to change that | Laurie Macfarlane

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We need a new, decentralised banking system that invests in local initiatives to create jobs and industries in the regions that have been left behindIf Brexit means leaving the single market and the customs union, as the prime minister told us last week, it is no great surprise to hear that major banks are planning to shift operations out of the UK. It could be the beginning of the end for an economic order that has favoured London’s status as a global hub for financial services, while whole regions of the country have been left stranded. Today society is more polarised than at any time since the beginning of the 20th century. Central London is the richest single area in Europe, while standards of living in West Wales and the Valleys are comparable to those in recent EU accession countries such as Poland and Hungary.If the UK’s finance-led model is at risk of breaking down, we must begin the long task of building a new economic model that works better. The prime minister has talked about this, but it seems that her plan could be a race to the bottom on tax and regulation. That’s no help for communities that feel powerless or regions left behind by decades of industrial decline. Low tax and low levels of regulation are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Continue reading...

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23 января, 16:52

Sam Hutchinson: ‘I just wanted to stop the pain and never come back’

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The Sheffield Wednesday midfielder retired in 2010, aged 21, while on Chelsea’s books but has overcome that knee problem and depression to play better and more fearlessly than ever“Is that OK? I’ll be straight back afterwards.” Sam Hutchinson breaks off halfway through the interview to officiate a wrestling match between the Sheffield Wednesday masseur and physio, the rest of the squad gathered round a makeshift ring to watch. It is a duel he arranged and one the physio comprehensively wins with a perfectly executed judo throw. With that, Hutchinson sits back down. His apologies for briefly departing are unnecessary: it would be churlish to object to Hutchinson, a man whose career so nearly ended before it started, enjoying small moments with his team-mates like that.A product of Chelsea’s youth system, Hutchinson was a promising right-back before a chondral defect (basically a hole in his right knee) forced him to retire aged 21. Eighteen months and a period of depression later, the treatment to fix the problem belatedly worked and Hutchinson returned to the game. It has taken five years, via a couple of frustrating loan spells and more setbacks, but he is now established at Hillsborough as probably Wednesday’s best player (he recently won their player of the month for the third time this season, with 85% of the vote) and one of the best midfielders in the Championship. Continue reading...

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23 января, 16:51

Freezing fog blankets southern England – in pictures

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As Big Ben twinkles through the fog and deer graze in a frosty Richmond Park, the weather brings less pretty scenes at England’s disrupted airports Continue reading...

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23 января, 16:50

Death toll rises to 19 amid reports of tornadoes across south-eastern US

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Storm system in Georgia, Mississippi and beyond tears up mobile homes, with 39 possible tornadoes reported on Saturday and SundayAt least 19 people have died in a vast storm system that kicked up apparent tornadoes, shredded mobile homes and left other destruction scattered around the south-eastern US.Authorities said on Monday at least 15 deaths occurred in south Georgia, including seven from an apparent winter twister that tore through a trailer park before dawn on Sunday. Authorities reported four deaths on Saturday in Mississippi as the storm system ramped up. It was so big parts of it threatened the Carolinas and north Florida. Continue reading...

23 января, 16:47

Black Sabbath review – Ozzy Osbourne in imperious form

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Manchester ArenaAfter five decades of headbanging, Sabbath remain uncannily connected to the dark heart of their songs of doom and deathUnless Black Sabbath follow the example of Meat Loaf and Jay Z and perform a “farewell tour” and forget to say farewell, then this really is – as the tour title has it – The End for them, at least as a touring unit. However, there are no grand goodbyes or misty-eyed nostalgia, just three legendary metal musicians (with Tommy Clufetos replacing the original drummer, Bill Ward, who has been estranged since 2012) playing a blitzkrieg of hard rock for 100 minutes. Bassist Geezer Butler has the nimble fingers of a much younger man. Guitarist Tony Iommi’s barrage of detuned, ominous riffs defy his lymphoma diagnosis. After a year on the road, Ozzy Osbourne’s occasionally erratic voice is remarkably pure and strong. Continue reading...

23 января, 16:44

PSNI chief condemns suspected dissident republican attack in Belfast

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George Hamilton describes gun attack on busy petrol station in which one officer was shot as ‘completely reckless’Suspected dissident republicans who sprayed a petrol station in Belfast with automatic gunfire endangered not only the lives of two police officers but also the civilian staff and drivers at the garage, Northern Ireland’s chief constable has said.The head of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, George Hamilton, described the attack on the filling station as “completely reckless”. Hamilton said up to 10 shots were fired during the attack on Sunday when a uniformed PSNI officer was wounded in the arm. His injuries were not life-threatening and his condition in hospital was described as stable. Continue reading...

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23 января, 16:19

Wales should keep access to single market, say party leaders

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Head of Plaid Cymru and Labour first minister release white paper challenging PM to come up with plan if she disagreesThe leaders of the two biggest parties in Wales have said that the country should maintain some form of access to the single market after Brexit, arguing that if Theresa May rejects their ideas she must come up with a plan of her own.Unveiling a detailed white paper on how a post-Brexit Wales might look, Labour’s Carwyn Jones, the first minister, and the Plaid Cymru leader, Leanne Wood, said May’s response was a test of how serious she was in consulting with the devolved nations. Continue reading...

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23 января, 16:18

The UK's Eurovision songs are in! And we are doomed

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After Brexit, no matter which tune we enter, our destiny is definitely last place. So here are the UK finalists, with a caveat: they’ve all appeared on the X FactorToday’s unveiling of the six shortlisted UK Eurovision entries seems even more dispiritingly pointless than usual. We did badly enough at Eurovision when we were just a swaggering warmonger with an artificially inflated sense of entitlement. But now we’ve had Brexit, and Europe knows we hate it, and it hates us in return. This year, the only way we’ll salvage a single dismal point from the whole depressing charade is if we enter a song called Oh God We’re So Unbelievably Sorry performed by an old-fashioned bobby in floods of tears, in German, while juggling baguettes and handing out wads of Euros. Continue reading...

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23 января, 16:17

Hull’s Ryan Mason ‘speaking in hospital’ after fracturing skull at Chelsea

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• Midfielder was visited in hospital by club officials• Gary Cahill also went to see Mason after incident on SundayRyan Mason has been speaking of the accident which left him with a fractured skull and will remain in hospital under observation, Hull City have announced.The 25-year-old former Tottenham midfielder was carried off and received oxygen after a clash of heads with Chelsea’s Gary Cahill in the first half of Hull’s 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge. Continue reading...

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23 января, 16:13

Delicious roast spuds are part of the good life. Poor cancer advice isn’t | Suzanne Moore

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Potentially carcinogenic acrylamides lurking in our favourite foods is actually old news. This latest episode just proves how vulnerable we still are to scare storiesThere wasn’t exactly a muted reaction today to the news that your breakfast may kill you. Trump may start a war on facts, a missile may go astray, but it turns out that the final straw is telling people that their toast is bad for them. According to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), burnt toast is potentially bad, as are crisps, and well-browned roast potatoes. With this news, something has stirred deep within us. You will only take away our delicious crispiness by prising it from our cold dead hands. We will fight for the right to fluff: that is, to increase the surface area of potatoes before roasting them in order to maximise the brown, crispy bits. Isn’t that Jamie Oliver’s contribution to humanity? We don’t want warm bread, we want actual toast, toasted. Don’t even start me on crisps.Here are a few other things that increase your risk: paint, Chinese salted fish, contraceptive pills and wood dust Continue reading...