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18/01/2020 13:47:05  

Lynne Fox had won awards but inspectors still downgraded her school – and then refused to share their evidence

Teacher Lynne Fox received a prestigious Pearson national headteacher of the year award last summer. Judges praised her as a “tour de force” who had transformed her comprehensive, Bramhall high school, overcoming significant challenges such as funding cuts and staff redundancies to secure “the very best educational experience for students”. The school, they said, was “a vibrant environment where enthusiasm and creativity are encouraged”, leading to “outstanding” results.

A few weeks later, Fox found herself leaving a meeting with Ofsted inspectors in tears. “It was the only time in my professional career as a leader that I’ve ever felt that bad. That low.”

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18/01/2020 13:47:04  

Temple Cycles is an independent firm inspired by Britain’s long tradition of bicycle manufacture, which has blossomed from a one-man startup into a thriving business in the space of six years.

Mears’ mission is to create sustainable products that will last a lifetime. He has opened a shop on Brick Lane in Shoreditch; and there is a thriving online business, especially in Europe. But the heart of the company remains in Bristol, in the workspace where his small team continue in their quest to create high-quality bicycles, each made to order – and built to last.

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18/01/2020 13:47:03  

A fried tofu cutlet slathered with curried ‘mayo’ and covered in an eye-opening slaw – this is how to make sandwiches exciting

My life can be carved into two parts: a time before katsu sando and the enlightened after period.

It’s hard for a sandwich, the lunchtime stalwart, to break ranks and become exciting and even famous, but it’s easy to see how this Japanese take on it has done just that.

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18/01/2020 13:47:01  

Over three episodes the politician-turned-Strictly contestant aims to find out why Europe’s politics are shifting. He doesn’t quite manage it

Is Ed Balls charming? I’m really struggling with this question, watching Travels in Euroland With Ed Balls (Thursday, 9pm, BBC Two), a three-part series, for some reason, where Ed Balls goes around Europe asking workers why they voted for far-right parties and always getting the exact same answer, again and again and again, but occasionally doing what-the-humans-do bits in between to make it a TV programme rather than a doomed campaign trail. So we see Ed Balls take a castanet-clacking dance class in Spain, or Ed Balls swimming in the frigid northern sea, Ed Balls for some reason inviting himself into a succession of European homes to make himself a coffee or Ed Balls waving silently at someone’s non-English speaking mum.

And throughout this, you are stuck in this strange liminal relationship with Balls, torn somewhere between liking him and not: why is Ed Balls in Europe again? And why are you watching him? The answer is: a new front of far-right-leaning populist parties have found continental success (basically, every European country now has its own version of Ukip, which is ironically quite a nightmare for Ukip itself: they come over here, don’t they, and steal our intolerance), and Ed Balls wants to know why.

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18/01/2020 13:46:56  

Surkh Kotal temple sculpture was discovered on a UK auctioneer’s website

A sculpture that was stolen from the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul almost 30 years ago is to be returned to its country of origin after being seen on a British auctioneer’s website and investigated by the Metropolitan police.

Carved in the 2nd century AD from a yellowish limestone, the sculpture of two bulls was excavated in the 1950s in northern Afghanistan only to be looted during the civil war in the early 1990s, following the withdrawal of Soviet troops. Where the bulls have been since then is unknown, but they were spotted by the Art Loss Register (ALR), which has an international database of stolen artworks, on the website of Timeline Auctions, and reported to the police.

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18/01/2020 13:46:56  

Study shows disparity in sentencing for similar online offences

Islamist offenders convicted of online extremist crimes received prison sentences three times longer than those of their far-right counterparts, according to new analysis.

Researchers found that Islamists received on average 73.4 months compared with 24.5 months for far-right offenders, despite the government’s ambition to treat both strains of extremism in the same way.

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18/01/2020 13:46:34  

No Time to Die will be the 25th film in the franchise and Daniel Craig’s final role as 007

Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr will join composer Hans Zimmer to score the upcoming James Bond movie No Time to Die.

Zimmer, widely celebrated for his scores for films such as Gladiator, The Da Vinci Code and the Pirates of the Caribbean series, was drafted in as a last-minute replacement earlier this month.

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18/01/2020 13:46:17  

"SpaceX is setting out to prove a critical safety system will be able to save astronaut lives in the event of a launch emergency during ascent," reports CNET: The Crew Dragon in-flight abort test is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 18. This is a required step before NASA will allow astronauts to fly to the International Space Station in the SpaceX capsule as part of the Commercial Crew Program. NASA will livestream the event, with coverage starting at 4:45 a.m. PT on Saturday. SpaceX and NASA are targeting 5 a.m. PT for the launch, but the test has a four-hour launch window to work with... [And SpaceX tweeted Friday night that they're targetting "toward the end of the window." Watch SpaceX's livestream here.] Backup test opportunities are set for Sunday or Monday if Saturday doesn't work out. Crew Dragon will take a ride on a Falcon 9 rocket, which won't survive the test. The launch will take place at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, which will allow the rocket to break up over the Atlantic Ocean. It could be quite an eye-opening experience. SpaceX shared an animated video showing how the test is expected to go. If all goes well, the Crew Dragon capsule will separate from the rocket, deploy parachutes and float gently down to the water.... SpaceX successfully sent an uncrewed Crew Dragon to the International Space Station in early 2019. The ultimate goal is to make a return trip with NASA astronauts on board. If the in-flight abort test works out, then the first launch of humans from U.S. soil since the end of the space shuttle era should finally happen in 2020.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

18/01/2020 13:43:19  

Storms hit parts of Australia's east coast, dousing some fires and giving inhabitants some respite.
18/01/2020 13:43:12  

A 52-year-old man is in custody after a woman fell seven floors to her death in Hove.
18/01/2020 13:43:11  

Figures obtained by the Scottish Greens found almost 5,000 service failures were recorded last year.
18/01/2020 13:43:01  

Police warn £7m was stolen from elderly and vulnerable people in 2019 in so-called courier fraud.
18/01/2020 12:47:20  

As Democrats marched the articles to the Senate, the president basked in policy success. Many think re-election is coming

It was, the White House tweeted on Friday, “an incredible week” for Donald Trump. On that, no one could disagree. But what kind of incredible depended on which end of Pennsylvania Avenue you were standing.

Related: How to dump Trump: Rick Wilson on Running Against the Devil

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18/01/2020 12:47:01  

From the Czech Republic to the Ukraine, quality (and unusual) health treatments can be found at a fraction of western Europe prices

For 800 years the waters around Cieplice have treated the cream of central European society as well as US ambassador (later president) John Quincy Adams. Such folk demanded frescoed dining salons, broad parks and splendid swimming pools, all of which remain. The thermal springs are particularly rich in sulphur, iodine and radon. Among the 70 treatments, the focus is on rheumatology, urology and dry-eye syndrome (common in our screen-led world), and each therapy is a no-nonsense bargain. A 15-minute paraffin session is £3.50 and eye rinsing with thermal aerosols £3; but a peat enema is an eye-watering £12. Recover at the Ceiplice Aquapark (£7), with outdoor jacuzzis, lazy rapids and waterslide.
From £266pp for a week in a double room including three treatments a day, full-board, uzdrowisko-cieplice.pl

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18/01/2020 12:46:58  

Royal Opera House; Kings Place, London
Richard Jones’s snowy 2017 La bohème is settling in at Covent Garden. And Kings Place takes on the entire universe, with a little help from Brian Cox

Each encounter with Puccini’s La bohème – assuming the performance is up to scratch, which the Royal Opera’s latest revival is – makes you rethink the elements that make this work a masterpiece: time-proof and foolproof, as a blunt critic early last century put it, bemoaning the grandmotherly Mimìs, screeching Musettas and overweight Rodolfos he’d endured over the years (he’d have to watch his adjectives today). The plot jumps awkwardly between its four “tableaux” acts. Aspects of the story don’t quite make sense. Yet Puccini spins his material into a perfect mesh of mirth and tears. His theatrical instinct is faultless, and no other composer teases out strands of melody so apparently effortlessly and rhapsodically.

In the case of Bohème this means, famously, from first encounter to full-blown love in a matter of minutes for the seamstress Mimì and the poet Rodolfo. Their big Act 1 duet, O soave fanciulla, is a reliable test, early on, of the evening’s emotional temperature. The Romanian-born British soprano Simona Mihai (a late replacement, who sang the role for the ROH last year and plays Musetta later in the run) and the American tenor Charles Castronovo scored highly, with the conductor, Emmanuel Villaume, pacing this slowly unfurling music with well-judged control. In this score, the woodwind weaves and soars, now buried in the texture (the exuberant oboe tune is near the start), now singing its own melody, so often voiced by solo clarinet. Though the ROH players must know this music inside out, it sounded fresh and alive.

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18/01/2020 12:46:58  

Hit TV show seen as prime way for startups such as Jalal Kamani’s I Saw It First to get noticed

Love Island is back on the telly with millions of viewers tuning in for a daily fix of romance, winter sun – and fast fashion.

The hit dating reality show offers a golden opportunity for brands to get noticed and this year’s fame-hungry wannabes include I Saw It First, the fast-growing Manchester fashion firm going after the teenage and twentysomething audience with cheap, sexy clothes.

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18/01/2020 12:46:55  

3 mins: And now Eze, on the other wing, ghosts past Ayling with a drop of the shoulder but can’t quite find a hooped shirt from the byline. Three minutes in and QPR’s danger men look up for it.

2 mins: Osayi-Samuel stretches his legs on the right wing, chasing a lovely long pass from Hall and drawing a hideously rash tackle from Cooper, who misses the ball completely. White sweeps up.

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18/01/2020 12:46:53  

The pioneers who struggled for legalisation in the 60s are seeing the same battles being fought all over again

The telephone sat in the dormitory hallway, and when it rang it might have been for any of the residents – young women in their teens and early 20s, all students at the University of Chicago. Calls came from family and friends and boyfriends, from colleagues and classmates and clubs. But sometimes the voice at the end of the line would ask for “Jane”.

This was 1965, and in Chicago the social justice movement was gathering pace – a new era that encompassed civil rights, student rights, women’s rights and resistance to the war in Vietnam. Among those involved was Heather Booth, a 19-year-old social sciences student from New York. Booth had spent the summer of 1964 in Mississippi, volunteering as part of the Freedom Summer project, an attempt to register as many African American voters as possible. It was an experience that had galvanised her and taught some valuable lessons: “One is that if you organise, even in what seem like the most hopeless circumstances, you can change the world,” she says. “Number two: sometimes you have to stand up to illegitimate authority.”

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18/01/2020 12:46:21  

Political activist Joshua Wong was 20 when he was sentenced in 2017 to six months for his role in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy ‘umbrella movement’

The last words I said before I was taken away from the courtroom were: “Hong Kong people, carry on!” That sums up how I feel about our political struggle. Since Occupy Central – and the umbrella movement that succeeded it – ended without achieving its stated goal, Hong Kong has entered one of its most challenging chapters. Protesters coming out of a failed movement are overcome with disillusionment and powerlessness.

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18/01/2020 12:43:51  
18/01/2020 12:43:19  

Helicopters are sent to Annapurna region amid poor weather conditions and plunging temperatures.
18/01/2020 12:43:18  

The company wants to distance its film studio from Rupert Murdoch's news company, US media report.
18/01/2020 12:43:11  

Rangers say they are "astounded" by Scottish FA charges of not acting in an "orderly fashion" and intend to contest them "in the most robust manner possible".
18/01/2020 12:43:10  

Genetic researchers are looking for thousands of people with at least two grandparents born in Orkney or Shetland.
18/01/2020 11:47:00  

Although I feed song birds with meal worms, suet and seeds, I’ve come to realise that my garden can do the job just as well

I was admiring the glorious orange limbs of my strawberry tree, Arbutus unedo, meandering elegantly and covered in bright red baubles of fruit among glossy green leaves, when I spotted a blackbird, its beak crammed full of a single fruit. I was contemplating preserving this year’s bounty of fruit, but the sight of that happy blackbird was enough to make me realise I didn’t need any more jam in my life. This tree is far more giving to all of us in the garden than I could have conceived when I planted it to obscure my neighbour’s shed.

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