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  • Keir Starmer says falling living standards means UK facing ‘cultural trauma’ – politics live
    by Andrew Sparrow on December 4, 2023 at 3:45 pm

    Labour leader says his party would not be able to spend quickly if it wins power but will be ‘ruthless’ in using money ‘wisely’

    Hunt says the government wants to speed up the time it takes to get a connection to the national grid by 90%.

    Zanny Minton Beddoes, the editor of the Economist, is interviewing Hunt. She says he has mentioned the 110 policies, but she wants to know what the growth strategy is.

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  • No UK rescue for 2026 Commonwealth Games after Gold Coast withdrawal
    by Sean Ingle on December 4, 2023 at 3:38 pm

    • British government rules out stepping in to save 2026 event
    • State of Victoria also pulled out as host due to prohibitive costs

    The British government has told Commonwealth Games organisers that the United Kingdom will not step in to rescue the event again after the Gold Coast withdrew its bid for the 2026 event.

    Substantial UK government support allowed Birmingham to ride to the rescue of the 2022 Games after Durban was stripped of the event in 2017. However, multiple sources have told the Guardian that there is no financial appetite – or any preliminary planning in place – to allow another British city to intervene again. “For the good of the Games, it needs to go elsewhere,” one insider said.

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  • Israel-Hamas war live: all telecom services cut in northern Gaza, says Paltel
    by Gloria Oladipo (now); Martin Belam and Helen Livingstone (earlier) on December 4, 2023 at 3:35 pm

    Landlines, cellular and internet lost in Gaza City and north Gaza Strip, says phone company; Israeli tanks reportedly enter southern Gaza Strip

    A volunteer with the Palestinian Red Crescent has been killed in an Israeli strike on the al-Faluja neighbourhood north-east of Gaza City, the organisation has said on X.

    Osama Tayeh was killed at his home, the Red Crescent said, while employee Muhammad Abu Rukba was injured in the attack.

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  • ‘What drives a man to do this?’: re-examining the murder of John Lennon
    by Charles Bramesco on December 4, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    In a new Apple docuseries covering the shocking murder of one of music’s most beloved figures, the life and motivations of his killer are placed under the spotlight

    Production company 72 Films specializes in what executive producer Rob Coldstream calls “box set” documentaries, “archive deep-dives into compelling figures, events or moments in history that also say something about the world”. They have tackled such enigmas as Donald Trump, Elon Musk and Bashar al-Assad, but their latest project – John Lennon: Murder Without a Trial, a three-part miniseries streaming on Apple TV – presented an unfamiliar challenge in its seeming straightforwardness.

    There are no big question marks hanging over the assassination of the former Beatle and counterculture icon by Mark David Chapman: plenty of eyewitnesses watched it play out in front of the Dakota apartments, Chapman was immediately apprehended, and his guilty plea stuck him with a 20-to-life sentence at the Green Haven correctional facility, where he remains today. Co-directors Coldstream and Nick Holt reasoned that they would break new ground on the subject by privileging depth over breadth, inspecting the known components of an infamous case more closely than anyone had before with help from those embedded in the situation.

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  • ‘Good morning!’: how two words could transform your life
    by Guardian Staff on December 4, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    Scared of talking to strangers? Think again. It could vastly increase your sense of satisfaction

    Name: Good morning.

    Age: Immaterial, it really doesn’t matter. Good morning!

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  • Wiegman urges Lionesses to attack Scotland with GB Olympic spot on line
    by Suzanne Wrack on December 4, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    • England will need big win to top group if Dutch beat Belgium
    • Head coach dismisses talk of a conflict of interest for Scotland

    Sarina Wiegman hopes England “go wild from the first minute” against Scotland in their crunch Nations League tie on Tuesday evening.

    The Lionesses travel to Hampden Park knowing only a sizeable win against the hosts is likely to earn progression to the Nations League finals and keep alive hopes of a place for Team GB at next summer’s Olympics.

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  • White House urges Congress to approve Ukraine aid, warning ‘we are out of money’ – US politics live
    by Chris Stein on December 4, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    Biden administration issues stark warning about ability to support Ukraine’s fight against Russia amid row over continued funding

    According to Punchbowl News, the key point of contention in negotiations over a deal to approve aid to Ukraine and Israel was Republicans’ insistence on passing parts of their immigration plan.

    Earlier this year, the Republican-controlled House approved the Secure the Border Act, which would, among other things, crack down on asylum seekers by limiting their ability to remain in the United States after making their claim for refuge. It would also force the Biden administration to restart construction of the border wall Donald Trump championed.

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  • ‘Forty years on, nothing’s changed’: Fun Boy Three on The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum
    by Interviews by Dave Simpson on December 4, 2023 at 3:22 pm

    ‘Terry Hall was writing about nuclear war and Ronald Reagan, then the US president, the idea being that the world was being run by lunatics’

    When we were in the Specials, working on the More Specials album, every day someone would leave the band, then three days later they’d rejoin. It’s an amazing record, but we needed a good break from each other. After doing Ghost Town on Top of the Pops, three of us went to see [songwriter and keyboard-player] Jerry Dammers at his house and told him we were leaving. He was in bed and said, “You’re not allowed to leave.” We said, “That’s the reason we’re going, Jerry”, and walked out.

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