The Guardian

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The Guardian Utrecht's Mike van der Hoorn scores comical own goal video

The Guardian | Monday April 15, 2013 @ 08:22:05 AM mt

Utrecht centre-back Mike van der Hoorn scores an inexplicably bad own goal against AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie
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The Guardian Ancient Egyptian beads are oldest iron objects found

The Guardian | Tuesday August 20, 2013 @ 09:24:34 PM mt

The beads, beaten out from pieces of meteorite more than 5,000 years ago, now among objects at Petrie Museum in London

Blackened and corroded beads have turned out to be the oldest objects made in iron ever discovered, beaten out from pieces of meteorite in ancient Egypt more than 5,000 years ago.

The nine beads were excavated in 1911 in a pre-dynastic cemetery near el-Gerzeh in Egypt, and are now among objects at the Petrie Museum, part of University College London, which has a world-renowned Egyptian collection, including quantities of exquisite jewellery. The find is revealed in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

The iron beads - the metal from the metorites is actually an iron-nickel alloy, with other elements including cobalt and phosphorus which helped prove its source - were made using a completely different technique from the other beads in the necklace, gold and gemstones which were cast, carved or drilled.

The fact that the iron beads were combined with such precious materials proves that although the ancient jewellers could not have known the true source of the strange metal that fell from the sky, it was highly valued.

The beads were heavily corroded when they were excavated from a grave in 1911, in a pre-dynastic cemetery near el-Gerzeh in Egypt. However, the team led by Professor Thilo Rehren, director of the UCL branch in Qatar, an expert on the archaeology of metal working, scanned them with beams of netrons and gamma-rays, which revealed not only that they really were made from meteorite fragments but also how they were made.

"The shape of the beads was obtained by smithing and rolling, most likely involving multiple cycles of hammering, and not by the traditional stone-working techniques such as carving or drilling which were used for the other beads found in the same tomb," Rehren said. He was impressed at the ancient Egyptians' skills, which he said showed an "advanced understanding" of the material they were using.

Their results are published on Tuesday in the Journal of Archaeological Science. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
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Peruvian footballer Renzo Reaos scores embarrassing own goal - video

The Guardian | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 11:07:18 AM mt

Unin Comercio player Renzo Reaos scores a howler of an own goal in a game against Peruvian Primera Division rivals Universitario
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The Guardian Surfer Garrett McNamara greatest waves - in pictures

The Guardian | Tuesday January 29, 2013 @ 11:00:31 AM mt

The Hawaiian surfer Garrett McNamara is said to have broken his own world record for the largest wave ever surfed when he caught a wave reported to be around 100ft off the coast of Nazar, Portugal, in November
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The Guardian Growing food in the desert: is this the solution to the world's food c</a>
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The Guardian Growing food in the desert: is this the solution to the world's food crisis

The Guardian | Saturday November 24, 2012 @ 05:58:38 PM mt

Philipp Saumweber is creating a miracle in the barren Australian outback, growing tonnes of fresh food. So why has he fallen out with the pioneering environmentalist who invented the revolutionary system?

The scrubby desert outside Port Augusta, three hours from Adelaide, is not the kind of countryside you see in Australian tourist brochures. The backdrop to an area of coal-fired power stations, lead smelting and mining, the coastal landscape is spiked with saltbush that can live on a trickle of brackish seawater seeping up through the arid soil. Poisonous king brown snakes, redback spiders, the odd kangaroo and emu are seen occasionally, flies constantly. When the local landowners who graze a few sheep here get a chance to sell some of this crummy real estate they jump at it, even for bottom dollar, because the only real natural resource in these parts is sunshine.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that a group of young brains from Europe, Asia and north America, led by a 33-year-old German former Goldman Sachs banker but inspired by a London theatre lighting engineer of 62, have bought a sizeable lump of this unpromising outback territory and built on it an experimental greenhouse which holds the seemingly realistic promise of solving the world's food problems.

Indeed, the work that Sundrop Farms, as they call themselves, are doing in South Australia, and just starting up in Qatar, is beyond the experimental stage. They appear to have pulled off the ultimate something-from-nothing agricultural feat using the sun to desalinate seawater for irrigation and to heat and cool greenhouses as required, and thence cheaply grow high-quality, pesticide-free vegetables year-round in commercial quantities.

So far, the company has grown tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers by the tonne, but the same, proven technology is now almost ready to be extended to magic out, as if from thin air, unlimited quantities of many more crops and even protein foods such as fish and chicken but still using no fresh water and close to zero fossil fuels. Salty seawater, it hardly needs explaining, is free in every way and abundant rather too abundant these days, as our ice caps melt away.

So well has Sundrop's 18-month project worked that investors and supermarket chains have lately been scurrying down to Port Augusta, making it hard to get a room in its few motels, or a table at the curry restaurant in the local pub. Academic agriculturalists, mainstream politicians and green activists are falling over each other to champion Sundrop. And the company's scientists, entrepreneurs and investors are about to start building an 8m, 20-acre greenhouse 40 times bigger than the current one which will produce 2.8m kg of tomatoes and 1.2m kg of peppers a year for supermarkets now clamouring for an exclusive contract.

It's an inspiring project, more important, it could be argued, than anything else going on in the world. Agriculture uses 60-80% of the planet's scarce fresh water, so food production that uses none at all is nothing short of miraculous.

Growing food in a desert, especially in a period of sustained drought, is a pretty counterintuitive idea and Sundrop's horticultural breakthrough also ignores the principle that the best ideas are the simplest. Sundrop's computerised growing system is easy to describe, but was complex to devise and trickier still to make economically viable.

A 75m line of motorised parabolic mirrors that follow the sun all day focuses its heat on a pipe containing a sealed-in supply of oil. The hot oil in turn heats nearby tanks of seawater pumped up from a few metres below ground the shore is only 100m away. The oil brings the seawater up to 160C and steam from this drives turbines providing electricity. Some of the hot water from the process heats the greenhouse through the cold desert nights, while the rest is fed into a desalination plant that produces the 10,000 litres of fresh water a day needed to keep the plants happy. The water the grower gets is pure and ready for the perfect mix of nutrients to be added. The air in the greenhouse is kept humid and cool by trickling water over a wall of honeycombed cardboard evaporative pads through which air is driven by wind and fans. The system is hi-tech all the way; the greenhouse is in a remote spot, but the grower, a hyper-enthusiastic 27-year-old Canadian, Dave Pratt, can rather delightfully control all the growing conditions for his tonnes of crops from an iPhone app if he's out on the town or even home in Ontario.

It's the kind of thing an enlightened futurologist might have imagined for the 21st century, and to enter Sundrop's greenhouse from the desert outside, passing the array of sun-tracking solar parabolic mirrors that looks like something from a film set, is to feel you've arrived at a template for tomorrow-world. The warm, humid air laden with the scent of ripening tomatoes is in such contrast to the harsh landscape outside, where it tops a parched 40C for much of the year, that it feels as if the more brutal sides of both nature and economics are being benignly cheated. You can supply billions with healthy, cheap food, help save the planet and make a fortune? There has to be a catch.

There seems, however, to be only one significant person in the world who feels there is indeed a catch, and, a little bizarrely, that is the inventor of the technology, one Charlie Paton, the British lighting man mentioned earlier, who is currently to be found in his own experimental greenhouse, atop a three- storey former bakery at the London Fields end of Hackney, east London, feeling proud-ish, but not a little sour, about the way things have worked out 10,000 miles away in the desert between the Flinders mountains and the Spencer Gulf.

If you are of an ecological bent, Paton's name may ring a bell. He is the multi-honoured founder of a veritable icon of the green world, a 21-year established family company called Seawater Greenhouse, originators of the idea of growing crops using only sunlight and seawater. Earlier this month, Paton was given the prestigious title Royal Designer for Industry by the Royal Society of Arts, and a few months earlier, Seawater Greenhouse won first prize in the best product category of the UK's biggest climate-change awards scheme, Climate Week. If Sundrop Farms takes off worldwide, the charming and idealistic Charlie Paton could well be in line for a knighthood, even a Nobel Prize; the potential of his brainchild the ability to grow infinite quantities of cheap, wholesome food in deserts is that great.

There's just one problem in all this. Although he and his family built the South Australia greenhouse with their own hands, Sundrop has abandoned pretty much every scrap of the ultra-simple Paton technology regarding it as "too Heath Robinson" and commercially hopeless. Some of the Patons' home-made solar panels in wooden frames are still connected up and powering fans, but are falling apart. Nearly all the rest of their installation has been replaced with hi-tech kit which its spiritual father views with contempt. He dismisses Sundrop's gleaming new 160,000 tracking mirrors from Germany and the thrumming Swiss desalination plant and heat-exchanging tanks as "bells and whistles" put in to impress investors. Sundrop and Seawater have parted company and Paton accuses them of abandoning sustainability in the interests of commercial greed. He is particularly distressed by the installation of a backup gas boiler to keep the crops safe if it's cloudy for a few days.

But we will return to Charlie Paton later; sadly, perhaps, developments in the South Australian desert are now overshadowing the doubts and travails of their original inspiration. And they are quite some developments. "These guys have been bold and adventurous in having the audacity to think that they could do it," says the head of Australia's government-funded desalination research institute, Neil Palmer. "They are making food without risk, eliminating the problems caused not just by floods, frost, hail but by lack of water, too, which now becomes a non-issue. Plus, it stacks up economically and it's infinitely scalable there's no shortage of sunshine or seawater here. It's all very impressive."

"The sky really is now the limit," confirms Dutch water engineer Reinier Wolterbeek, Sundrop's project manager. "For one thing, we are all young and very ambitious. That's how we select new team members. And having shown to tough-minded horticulturalists, economists and supermarket buyers that what we can do works and makes commercial sense, there's now the possibility of growing protein, too, in these closed, controlled greenhouse environments. And that means feeding the world, no less."

An unexpected bonus of the Sundrop system is that the vegetables produced, while cropping year-round and satisfying the supermarkets' demand for blemish-free aesthetic perfection, can also be effectively organic. It can't be called organic (in Australia at least) because it's grown "hydroponically" not in soil but it is wholly pesticide-free, a selling point the Australian supermarkets are seizing on, and apparently fed only benign nutrients. Sundrop is already being sold in local greengrocers in Port Augusta as an ethically and environmentally friendly high-end brand.

Because there's no shortage of desert in which to site it, a Sundrop greenhouse can be built in isolation from others and be less prone to roving pests. Those that sneak in can be eliminated naturally. In this closeted micro-world, Dave Pratt with his trusty iPhone app is free to play God. Not only does Dave have a flight of in-house bees to do their stuff in the greenhouse (who also live a charmed life as they enjoy a perfect, Dave- controlled climate with no predators) but he also has at his command a platoon of "beneficial insects" called Orius, or pirate bugs. These kill crop-destroying pests called thrips, and do so weirdly in nature not for food but for, well, fun. So unless you feel for thrips, or believe food should only be grown in God's own soil and subject to God's own pestilences, Sundrop produce seems to be pure and ethical enough to satisfy all but the most eco-fussy.

Sundrop's founder and CEO, on the other hand, is not at first glance an ecowarrior poster child. True, there are plenty of posh boys dabbling in ethical and organic farming, but on paper, Philipp Saumweber could be a comedy all-purpose hate figure. He is a wealthy, Gordonstoun-educated German with a Harvard MBA, immaculate manners, an American accent, Teutonic efficiency and a career that's taken him from hedge-fund management to Goldman Sachs to joining his family's Munich-based agricultural investment business. But, in the typical way stereotypes can let you down, apart from being a thoroughly nice, softly spoken and clearly visionary man, Saumweber has also made a brilliant but ailing idea work, turning a charmingly British, Amstrad-like technology into the horticultural equivalent of Apple.

Soon after becoming immersed in agriculture as a business, he says, he realised that it essentially involved "turning diesel into food and adding water". Whether you were a tree-hugger or a number cruncher, Saumweber reasoned, this was not good. "So I began to get interested in the idea of saline agriculture. Fresh water is so scarce, yet we're almost drowning in seawater. I spent a lot of time in libraries researching it, Charlie Paton's name kept coming up, and that's what started things. He'd been working on the technology since 1991, was smart and although his approach was obviously home-grown and none of his pilot projects had really worked in fact they'd all been scrapped he had something too promising to ignore."

Despite having given Paton a large, undisclosed ex- gratia settlement when Sundrop and Seawater divorced in February a sum Paton still says he was very happy with Saumweber continues to be gracious about his former business partner, and says he wishes he was still on board, as he is a better propagandist and salesman for this ultimate sustainable technology than anyone else he's met.

"What we liked about Charlie's idea, as did the engineers we got in to assess Seawater Greenhouse, is that it addressed the water issue doubly by proposing a greenhouse which made water in an elegant way and linked this to a system to use seawater to cool the greenhouse," Saumweber recounts.

"What we didn't realise at the start, and I don't think Charlie ever adjusted to fully, was that even in arid regions, you get cold days and a greenhouse will need heating hence the gas boiler, which cuts in to produce heat and electricity when it gets cold or cloudy, but which upset Charlie so much because it meant we weren't 100% zero-energy any longer. What Charlie overlooked is that you can grow anything without heat and cooling, but it will be blemished and misshapen and will be rejected by the supermarkets. If you don't match their standards, you're not paid. It would be ideal if that weren't the case, but we can't take on the challenge of changing human behaviour.

"So in the end, we had very different views on where the business should go. He'd found the perfect platform to keep tinkering and experimenting, while we just wanted to get into production. He's a very nice man and I share a lot of his eco views, but it wasn't possible to stay together."

When you visit the agreeable Paton family in Hackney it becomes clear the gas-boiler incident out in the desert was far from the whole reason for the fallout with Sundrop. There was also a serious clash of styles. Saumweber is a banker by training and lives in prosperous west London, while the Patons are artistic and live part of the time in a forest clearing in Sussex in a wooden house without electricity. Charlie, an amateur and a tinkerer at heart, a highly knowledgeable polymath rather than a scientist, is also a proud man, whose intense blue eyes burn when he discusses how his invention has, in his view, been debased by the ambitious young men and women who moved it on to the next level.

The difference was essentially political, an idealist/ pragmatist schism not unlike an old Labour/New Labour split. The Patons Charlie, his wife, jeweller and art school teacher Marlene McKibbin, son Adam, 25, a design engineer and daughter Alice, 26, a fine art graduate are a tight, highly principled bunch who gather almost every day for a family lunch, like a wholemeal and Palestinian organic olive oil version of the Ewings of Southfork Ranch.

The Seawater Greenhouse method, which they are still promoting actively, involves no desalination plant, no gleaming solar mirrors and little by way of anything electronic. Everything in the Seawater Greenhouse vision is low-tech, cheap to start up and reliant on the subtle, gentle interaction of evaporation and condensation of seawater with wind, both natural and artificial, blown by fans powered by solar panels. If things go wrong and production is disrupted by a glitch in this model, you just persuade people to eat perfectly good but odd-looking produce or harvest less and stand firm by your sustainable principles.

Although the concept is attractive and the philosophy will chime with many a green consumer, the Seawater Greenhouse installation is less elegant. Dave Pratt, fresh to the team from growing tomatoes in Canada, almost went straight back when he saw the kit Adam and Alice Paton had painstakingly put together. "It was like a construction by the Beverly Hillbillies," Pratt says. "They had these 15,000 hand-made plastic pipes meant to work as heat exchangers, but they just dripped seawater on the plants, which was disastrous."

Paton's perspective on things is, naturally, a little different. "I did have a falling-out with Philipp," he says. "It was a joint venture, but we disagreed on a number of things. Being a cautious investor, he called in consultants and horticulturalists, and one said if you don't put in a gas boiler you're going to lose money and get poor produce. I was persuaded about the need for some heating, but it could have been supplied by solar panels. It wasn't such a big deal, perhaps, but it was a syndrome that ran through everything we did. Philipp is the king of the spreadsheet, and trying to make the numbers go black meant he just rushed everything. I'm all for the thing being profitable, but there are levels of greed I found a bit, well, not quite right. I wish him well, though, and if it's fabulously successful, then fine."

What next for the Patons, then? "Well, the settlement we got was enough to carry on fiddling about for some time. We're excited about getting a new project going in Cape Verde [the island republic in the mid-Atlantic], where they produce no food at all and they seem interested. And we have talked about a project in Somaliland [the unofficial breakaway part of Somalia], but that would be difficult as there's not even a hotel to stay in."

Charlie Paton, although the acknowledged founder of the idea of growing unlimited food in impossible conditions, seems almost destined to join a British tradition of hobbyist geniuses who change the world working from garden sheds and workshops, but, because they aren't commercial, and perhaps rather eschew professionalism, miss out on the final mile and the big payday.

"We will absolutely keep on at this in our own way," he says, "but I don't really feel that proprietary about it. The heart of the technology is actually a bit of soggy cardboard. You can't patent or protect the idea of evaporative cooling. The idea of using seawater to do that absolutely was a major breakthrough, but again, you can't patent it. The main thing is that it's us that's still picking up the plaudits, and I think that makes Philipp really angry."; © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
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California Senate votes to revoke Boy Scouts' charitable status

The Guardian | Friday May 31, 2013 @ 12:25:53 PM mt

Legislation, which must pass the assembly to become law, would use taxes to pressure BSA to accept openly gay adults

California's state Senate has passed a bill that would use taxes to pressure the Boy Scouts of America to accept openly gay adults.

The measure, which now moves to the assembly, would revoke the organisation's non-profit status in California and compel it to pay state taxes.

The BSA voted last week to accept openly gay scouts, but still bans gay individuals from becoming adult leaders.

Ricardo Lara, a Democratic senator from Long Beach who sponsored the bill, said the organisation needed to go further in order to retain state support.

The scouts were out of line with California's values and should be ineligible for a tax benefit paid for by all Californians, he said.

"We've given the Boy Scouts ample time to solve their discrimination problem. And they've chosen a path that still leads to discrimination. What does this mean, that up until 17 you're fine to be in the Boy Scouts but on midnight of your 18th birthday you turn into a paedophile or a predator? What kind of warped message does this send?"

Lara is openly gay and a member of the California legislative lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) caucus. Gay rights groups such as Equality California backed the measure.

The bill, SB323, also known as the Youth Equality Act, required a two-thirds vote at least 27 of 40 senators because it changed tax policy. It squeaked through that threshold on Wednesday, 27 to nine. Some Republicans voted against; others abstained.

The vote kept pressure on the Boy Scouts of America and kept California in the national spotlight over gay rights.

To become law the bill must pass the assembly and be signed by Governor Jerry Brown, a liberal Democrat. It would make California the first state to pass a law withdrawing an organisation's tax exemption because it excluded gays and transsexuals, officials said.

Individual donors could continue to make tax-deductible contributions but the scouts would have to pay state taxes on donations.

The measure would almost certainly be challenged in court and possibly also by the IRS.

Deron Smith, a spokesman for Boy Scouts, told reporters the organisation remained committed to serving California's 180,000 scouts. "Today, more than ever, youth need the character and leadership programs of scouting. We are disappointed with anything that impacts our ability to serve more youth."

A former BSA president , Rick Cronk, told the senate last month that the bill would hit a very important revenue source.

The Capitol Resource Institute, a conservative watchdog group based in Sacramento, condemned the senate vote.

"This bill is about government vilifying our values and abusing its power to penalize, through taxation, those who hold different beliefs and values," its director, Karen England, said in a statement. "SB 323 is an unprecedented intrusion by the government and a far reaching assault on freedoms of association, speech, and religion." © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds
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The Guardian: Threats sent to mosque attended by Texas cartoon contest gunmen

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 07:18:54 PM mt

FBI investigate threatening letter sent to the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix, where Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi once worshipped

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The Guardian: Vox Media taking over tech site ReCode amid digital media shakeup

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 06:08:42 PM mt

Respected news site focused on the business side of Silicon Valley joins company behind, Eater, and the Verge

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The Guardian: Mahela Jayawardene tips Trevor Bayliss for England success

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:37:22 PM mt
Former players are full of praise for the new head coach, who is known for giving younger players the opportunity to express themselves
Bayliss to take charge of England for Ashes

If the verdicts of those who have played under the new England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, are to be believed, the future is bright for English cricket. Mahela Jayawardene, who was coached by Bayliss and his assistant Paul Farbrace for Sri Lanka, is convinced the Australian will lead England to success in all formats of the game.

Hes a great guy; hes a very good coach, Jayawardene says. When we took him he didnt have much international experience but he knew exactly how teams work and he is a very old school guy in that he stays behind the limelight and gets the job done.

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The Guardian: Sepp Blatter confident of fifth term as Fifa grandees gather in Zurich

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:37:07 PM mt

President looks set to be re-elected after vote on Friday
New poll shows football fans oppose extension of his tenure
Prince Ali reports criminal approach offering 47 Fifa votes and information

In and around Zurichs finest hotels they are going through a familiar ritual. The red carpet is being rolled out, the best restaurants block-booked and security detail increased to keep an eye on the devils of the media as the 209 Fifa member associations roll into town.

Just as Luis Figo, the former Portuguese world footballer of the year, lambasted the incumbent Sepp Blatter for failing to allow any light in on the debate over who might succeed him so the bloated grandees of world football circled their wagons on Tuesday.

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The Guardian: Anthony Joshua goes from prison to punching way to heavyweight greatness

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:37:05 PM mt
Unbeaten boxers troubled past has helped him stay humble and focused on the biggest fight of his fledgling professional career against the strutting American Kevin Johnson at the O2 Arena on Saturday

On a hazy spring afternoon in a farmyard gym outside Brentwood in Essex, Anthony Joshuas face lights up as he anticipates the most important contest of his brief but highly impressive boxing career so far. He faces the swaggering American Kevin Kingpin Johnson at the O2 Arena in London on Saturday and his opponent has talked up a storm.

We squared off at the first press conference and its great that Johnson has no fear of me and I have no fear of him, Joshua says with a wide grin. Hes been in with Vitali Klitschko and hes thinking: If Vitali cant drop me, who the hell is this kid?

Related: Amir Khan can dominate welterweight division for years, says Virgil Hunter

Related: James DeGale wins IBF title with unanimous decision over Andre Dirrell

Related: Muhammad Alis phantom punch has us scratching our heads 50 years on | Richard Williams

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The Guardian: Napoli press conference points to Rafael Bentez for Real Madrid

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:59 PM mt
Bentez said to be 99% certain to take over at Real Madrid
Napoli to hold press conference three days before Serie A finale
Madrid confirm departure of Ancelotti after trophyless season

Napoli have called an unexpected press conference for Thursday as reports linking Rafael Bentez with Real Madrid continue to gain strength.

The Serie A club close out their season with a home game against Lazio on Sunday but the Spaniard looks set to announce his departure for the Bernabu three days earlier.

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The Guardian: Usain Bolt comfortably wins 200m at Golden Spike event in Ostrava

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:58 PM mt
Jamaican legend in control as he finishes in 20.13sec
Britains James Ellington fourth in impressive 20.81
Usain Bolt looks to break 19sec barrier for 200m at Rio Olympic Games

Usain Bolt eased to victory on his first race on European soil this year in the 200 metres at the Golden Spike event in Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

The Jamaican lived up to his showbiz reputation as he made light of the greasy conditions and waved to the delighted crowd on his way to the blocks. But after a few moments of levity he was focus personified. The six-times Olympic gold medal winner made a customary slow start, with the American Isiah Young getting the early advantage, but the 28-year-old took complete control round the corner and powered home in 20.13sec.

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The Guardian: Aston Villas Christian Benteke could give Arsenal FA Cup final fright

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:57 PM mt

Team-mate Ashley Westwood says forward will be key man at Wembley
Hes back to his best now, bullying defenders
Arsenals Danny Welbeck likely to miss FA Cup final and England games

Arsenals defenders will have sleepless nights about facing Christian Benteke in the FA Cup final and should prepare to be bullied that is the verdict of Aston Villas Ashley Westwood, who is confident Tim Sherwoods side can spring another surprise at Wembley.

The bookmakers had Villa down as 5-1 outsiders to beat Liverpool in the semi-final but they were outstanding on the day and went on to reach their first FA Cup final in 15 years after outplaying Brendan Rodgers side. Few, however, expect Villa to triumph again their odds have lengthened for the final, making Arsenal overwhelming favourites to retain the trophy.

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The Guardian: Darren Clarke says Sergio Garca will not be put off by hecklers in US

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:46 PM mt
Ryder Cup captain says Spaniard is thick-skinned enough to handle it
Clarke believes jibes are part and parcel of the modern game
Noises off hamper Sergio Garcas tilt at Players Championship

Darren Clarke, Europes Ryder Cup captain, has shrugged off any notion of US crowds negatively impacting on the performance of Sergio Garca at Hazeltine in September 2016.

Garca, who will join Clarke, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Martin Kaymer as part of the Irish Open field at Royal County Down this week, was heckled during the closing round of the Players Championship this month, a scenario the Spaniard has said is common when he contends in the United States.

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The Guardian: Michael Sam signs for the Montreal Alouettes - video

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:45 PM mt
On the verge of becoming the first openly gay athlete to play in the Canadian Football League, Michael Sam pledged his support to Montreal's LGBT community but insisted he's 'just here to play football' at a conference introducing him as the newest member of the Alouettes. Sam is the first openly gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. The St Louis Rams selected the pass rusher in the seventh round in 2014. He appeared in four pre-season games before the team released him, then had a short stint on the Dallas Cowboys' practice squad that ended in October without him playing a regular-season down in the NFL Continue reading...
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The Guardian: Andy Murray stays cool after French Open security breach

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:44 PM mt
But Scot recalls Monica Seles court stabbing in Hamburg in 1993
Murray will play Joo Sousa in the second round at Roland Garros
French Open court invader disturbs Federer

Andy Murray and Joo Sousa step on to court for the second round of the 2015 French Open on Thursdayand will fear each others weapons above any that might be lurking in the crowd. They are, after all, professional athletes who entrust their security to those who are paid for that task but who were found sadly wanting crhere this week.

When an over-eager fan broke through security at Roland Garros on Sunday to grab a photograph alongside Roger Federer on Court Philippe Chatrier, palms began to sweat and hearts beat a little faster. Fans gasped and the Swiss was not happy, nor were the tournament organisers nor the slumbering security operatives, although the tournament director, Gilbert Ysern, maintained an insouciant air at the press conference that followed. It was not, he said, the end of the world.

Related: Serena Williams beats Andrea Hlavackova in French Open first round

Related: Eugenie Bouchard exits French Open at hands of Kristina Mladenovic

Related: Novak Djokovic survives mid-match wobble to see off Jarkko Nieminen

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The Guardian: Bournemouths Eddie Howe pips Jos Mourinho as LMA manager of the year

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:33 PM mt

Howe the first winner from outside top flight since Steve Coppell in 2006
Brendan Rodgers says Howe has done a fine job with style and humility

Eddie Howe has been named Manager of the Year by the League Managers Association after guiding Bournemouth to the top flight while Jose Mourinho was named Premier League manager of the year on Tuesday evening.

Howe, who was also named Championship manager of the year after the Cherries title-winning season, is the first manager from outside the top flight to take the overall award since Steve Coppell, then of Reading, won in 2006.

Related: Bournemouth join Tottenham in race to sign Burnley defender Kieran Trippier

Related: Now you have heard of Bournemouth, and we diehard fans really do care

Related: Football quiz: Bournemouth

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The Guardian: Physicist puts Nobel prize medal up for auction

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:36:23 PM mt

Leon Lederman, 92, won prize for physics in 1988 for discovering a subatomic particle called the muon neutrino

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The Guardian: Thorny frog and dementor wasp among new species discovered in Mekong

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:34:50 PM mt

139 new species were identified in South East Asian region in 2014, including four moths named after Thai princesses and a new mammal

A dementor wasp named after the Harry Potter creatures, a stick insect more than half a metre long, and a colour-changing thorny frog are among new species discovered in South East Asias Greater Mekong region.

The discoveries also include a bent-toed gecko which is the 10,000th reptile to be recorded on Earth, a feathered coral whose nearest relatives are found in Africa and four moths named after Thai princesses.

Related: Flying squirrel and eyeless spider discovered in Greater Mekong

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The Guardian: Mediterranean-style diet may halve womb cancer risk study suggests

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:34:49 PM mt

Italian researchers claim women with a diet comprised mainly of nine key elements and only moderate alcohol are at a lower risk of developing the disease

A Mediterranean-style diet, already associated with good health and prevention of heart disease or a stroke, could also significantly cut the risk of womb cancer, an Italian study suggests.

Researchers who looked at the eating habits of over 5,000 women report that those who adhered most closely to food groups within such a diet lowered their risk of developing the disease by more than half. There were benefits too for those who stuck only slightly less strictly to the diets components.

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The Guardian: Physicist puts Nobel prize medal up for auction

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:34:48 PM mt

Leon Lederman, 92, won prize for physics in 1988 for discovering a subatomic particle called the muon neutrino

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The Guardian: Physicist puts Nobel prize medal up for auction

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:33:26 PM mt

Leon Lederman, 92, won prize for physics in 1988 for discovering a subatomic particle called the muon neutrino

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The Guardian: Nebraska governor vetoes landmark bill to abolish death penalty in state

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:11:57 PM mt
  • Measure heads back to lawmakers in the conservative-leaning state
  • Pete Ricketts is looking to weaken support among veto-proof majority
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The Guardian: Cleveland announces 'a new way of policing' after reports of chronic abuse - video

The Guardian | Tuesday May 26, 2015 @ 05:11:46 PM mt
Cleveland police will undergo training on the use of force and other reforms under an agreement with the US justice department to address a pattern of departmental abuses detailed in a scathing report on its practices last year, officials said. The agreement will provide a roadmap for the Cleveland police to change its practices and other departments, officials said Continue reading...
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