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Unions warn of awinter of chaosa without urgent action to curb Covid

Joint statement calls for mandatory mask-wearing and attacks governmentas alaissez-faire approacha

Trade union leaders representing 3 million frontline workers have warned that the government risks aanother winter of chaosa if urgent action is not taken to curb the spread of Covid, including mandatory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport.

In a joint statement, unions including Usdaw, Unison, Unite, the GMB and Aslef attacked the governmentas alaissez-faire approach to managing the pandemica after the prime minister insisted it was not yet time to impose fresh restrictions.

Sage said moving early to tackle rising Covid infections could help avoid harsher measures later on.

Regional health chiefs broke with government policy to ask the public to wear masks and work from home.

Official figures showed that one in 55 people in England had Covid-19 in the week ending 16 October, a level last seen in mid-January.

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Alec Baldwin voices ashock and sadnessa over shooting death of Halyna Hutchins

Alec Baldwin has expressed his deep ashock and sadnessa after he accidentally shot and killed his director of photography with an apparent real bullet on the set of his latest movie.

The actor was acting in or rehearsing for the western Rust when he discharged what he thought was a prop firearm. The cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was fatally struck and the director Joel Souza was wounded, the Santa Fe sheriffas office said.

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Cost of flights to rise as Rishi Sunak prepares to raise air passenger duty

Exclusive: chancellor to boost green credentials by hitting environmentally damaging long-haul flights

Travellers to destinations including Australia, South Africa and Japan can expect to pay more to fly, as Rishi Sunak prepares to overhaul air passenger duty in next weekas budget to reflect the environmental damage wrought by long-haul flights.

The chancellor is keen to burnish his green credentials after a week in which he was accused of failing to back Boris Johnsonas net-zero pledges with sufficient resources.

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Questions raised over secrecy around Queenas overnight hospital stay

Royal watchers say Buckingham Palace acould have handled it differentlya after the news was leaked to a newspaper

The Queen is undertaking alight dutiesa after a hospital visit for apreliminary investigationsa as Buckingham Palace faced questions over its handling of news of her overnight admission.

The 95-year-old monarch is said be resting at Windsor Castle after undergoing tests at King Edward VIIas Hospital in central London, having been advised by doctors to rest for a few days and cancelled a two-day trip to Northern Ireland.

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Man arrested by police investigating Manchester Arena terrorist attack

Police detain 24-year-old man at Manchester airport in connection with the 2017 attacks

Detectives investigating the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017 have arrested a 24-year-old man.

The suspect was detained on Friday at Manchester airport on suspicion of engaging in the preparation of acts of terrorism/assisting others in acts of preparation under section 5 of the Terrorism Act (2006), Greater Manchester police said.

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Boris Johnson used APS2.6m Downing Street briefing room to watch new Bond film

Costs were said to have been met by companies involved and similar screenings have happened previously

Boris Johnson used his White House-style press briefing room, which cost the taxpayer APS2.6m, to enjoy a screening of the new James Bond film with No 10 staff.

It was understood the prime minister attended the screening of No Time To Die at No 9 Downing Street after work hours on Thursday.

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aKeystone Copsa failed Stephen Portas first victim, parents tell inquest

Father of Anthony Walgate says further murders could have been avoided if police had adone their jobs bettera

The parents of the serial killer Stephen Portas first victim described the investigation into his death as a atravestya by aKeystone Copsa who insisted their sonas death was not murder, an inquest heard.

Anthony Walgate, 23, a fashion student from Hull, was found dead outside Portas flat in Barking, east London, in June 2014 after being given a fatal dose of date-rape drug GHB.

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Sajid Javidas NHS plan would open GPs up to more abuse, says head of BMA

Dr Chaand Nagpaul voices deep frustration over health secretaryas push for more in-person care

Sajid Javidas tactics of aattacking and threateninga GPs with aleague tables of shamea if they do not see enough patients in person risks family doctors, practice nurses and receptionists facing greater abuse and threats, the leader of Britainas doctors has said.

Javidas plan, which has been endorsed by NHS England, could fuel a dangerous ablame culturea against GPs, Dr Chaand Nagpaul added.

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Adeleas Easy on Me smashes record for number of UK streams in a week, with 24m

Breakup ballad becomes singeras third UK No 1 single after Someone Like You and Hello

Adele has smashed the record for the most-streamed song in a week in the UK, earning 24m streams for her new single Easy on Me a over seven million more than the previous record-holder.

The song a a poignant and tearjerking ballad about a breakup, in the time-honoured Adele style, becomes her third UK No 1 single after Someone Like You in 2011 and Hello in 2015.

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Supermarkets using cardboard cutouts to hide gaps left by supply issues

Public mockery as problems with deliveries and a move to fewer product lines result in empty shelves

Supermarkets are using cardboard cutouts of fruit, vegetables and other groceries to fill gaps on shelves because supply problems combined with a shift towards smaller product ranges mean many stores are now too big.

Tesco has begun using pictures of asparagus, carrots, oranges and grapes in its fresh produce aisles, prompting ridicule on social media.

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How it feels to go into space: aMore beautiful and dazzling and frightening than I ever imagineda

Chris Boshuizen was one of four astronauts a including William Shatner a who flew into space with Blue Origin. Here he describes the wonder of the journey

It was a balmy morning in the west Texas desert when Chris Boshuizen stepped into Jeff Bezosa Blue Origin rocket capsule for a journey most of us will never experience.

He waved a quick goodbye to the Amazon billionaire and took his seat next to William Shatner as the capsule door bolted shut.

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aNo one should be killed on seta: tragic history of fatalities during filming

On-set deaths like Halyna Hutchinsa remain thankfully rare a but only one film director has been convicted in the US for such incidents

Safety on film and TV sets is under renewed scrutiny following the fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by actor and producer Alec Baldwin during production on Rust, a western being filmed in New Mexico.

Baldwin, who has been questioned and released by the Santa Fe authorities, also shot director Joel Souza in what has been described as an accident involving a prop gun.

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Role of BBC political editor highlighted by expected exit of Laura Kuenssberg

Analysis: job comes with enormous challenges of balancing public service and relationship with No 10

Officially, the person who replaces Laura Kuenssberg as political editor will be picked by a team of BBC senior managers and the director general, Tim Davie, on the basis of which journalist is best placed to explain the workings of Westminster to tens of millions of Britons on a daily basis.

Unofficially, Davie and his team will be acutely aware of how Downing Street will view any appointment. With the BBCas future under constant threat and negotiations over the future of the licence fee still unresolved, they will have to take account of the political currents that surround the appointment of one of the most powerful jobs in British journalism.

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My son seems to blame me for his anxiety. How can we reconnect?

You are trying so hard, but at 22 he needs you to take a step back so he can breathe

My 22-year-old son is about to start his third year of a four-year degree course, and he is living at home. He has always been quiet and introverted, but popular. Three years ago, when challenged by one of his sisters as to why he never tells us anything, he confided that he had been suffering from anxiety and feeling worthless. I felt sad for him, and powerless.

We also discovered that he was smoking cannabis. I threatened to throw him out if he didnat stop. There have been times when he has barely come out of his room, and others when heas been better. He has tried antidepressants, at my suggestion. I have also advised that he see a counsellor, and he has done so; he says it has been helping.

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Chinaas hypersonic glider weapons test threatens to drive new arms race

Analysis: China recently tested a nuclear-capable manoeuvrable missile and Russia and the US have their own programmes

A new focus on hypersonic glider weapons, after a reportedly successful Chinese test, is helping drive an arms race that is eclipsing hopes of a return to disarmament by the worldas major powers.

The Chinese test on 27 July, first reported by the Financial Times, involved putting into orbit a nuclear-capable glider, travelling at five times the speed of sound, which then re-entered the atmosphere and performed some turns on its way to a target.

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Are UK house prices ever going to crash? We ask the expert

Social geographer Danny Dorling says the cost of buying a home will fall, one day a but whatas harder to predict is when

The UK, and London especially, is home to Europeas most expensive housing market after Monaco. For a generation of young people who have watched home ownership slip out of reach, the thought of prices going down significantly is inconceivable.

But in a period of inconceivables a a global pandemic, Christmas turkey shortages, Kanye West releasing his album when he said he would a could house prices be next?

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Is Harrison Ford really going back in time for the new Indiana Jones?

Rumours are rife that, with its star nearing 80, Indy 5 will resort to the oldest trick in the book to keep him young

How do you solve a problem like your action-movie leading man being nearly 80 and presumably no longer able to get under those rolling boulders quite as he once did? For the new 1960s-set Indiana Jones movie, once again starring Harrison Ford as the ageing adventurer and disturber of ancient tombs, there are rumours that the answer might just be time travel.

Fans this week have been all over suggestions that Indy will head back to Roman times, as suggested by recent set pictures, though of course he might just be on the 1960s Hollywood set of a swords-and-sandals epic. Then again, there was also that video, published in June, suggesting the archaeologist will be facing off once again against the Nazis, despite the second world war having finished more than two decades earlier.

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Bernard Haitinkas direct, refined conducting made him a true master

Critics argued his choice of repertoire was narrow, but the late conductoras interpretations of mainstream symphonies are justly revered for their sincerity and solidity

aC/ Bernard Haitink obituary

Itas just over two years since, at the age of 90, Bernard Haitink made his final appearance in London, conducting the Vienna Philharmonic at the Proms in two of the composers closest to his heart throughout his 65-year career on the podium, Beethoven and Bruckner. The virtues of those performances, their clarity and insight, and their utter lack of anything showy, epitomised Haitinkas strengths as an interpreter, which guaranteed his place in the pantheon of 20th-century conductors.

British audiences were especially privileged for more than half a century to have had so many opportunities to appreciate Haitinkas gifts in the concert hall and opera house, beginning with his period as the principal conductor of the London Philharmonic from 1967 to 1979, then through his musical directorships at Glyndebourne (1977-88) and at the Royal Opera House (1987-2002), and finally in the relationship he established in his later years with the London Symphony Orchestra. Head been part of my personal concert-going life in London from the 1970s, when he was one of a group of outstanding conductors a along with Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Georg Solti among others a who frequently worked in the capital; all of them would have been exceptional in any era, and I doubt any of us realised then how lucky we were to be able to hear them so regularly.

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Covid live: AY.4.2 strain of Delta variant under investigation in UK; Pfizer says jab shows 91% efficacy in children

Offshoot of Delta designated a variant under investigation in UK; Pfizer says child-size doses effective at stopping infections in five- to 11-year-olds

One thing regular readers will have noted is that I occasionally pop in this map that seems to indicate the extent to which the UKas caseload is an outlier in the western end of Europe, while also showing the surge that is building up towards the east of the continent.

It can sometimes be quite the cognitive dissonance for a journalist to be reporting that Russia a with a much larger population and a much lower caseload than the UK a is going into a week of work-free lockdown to try and break transmission, while members of the UK government are failing to follow their own public health advice over face mask wearing, even as daily Covid cases top 50,000.

aThe UK is an outlier, because it does have quite high coverage of vaccination a and is still having 45,000 cases per day,a said Quique Bassat, a pediatrician at the Barcelona Institute for Global health.

Yet after Britain marked afreedom daya in July, it was to be expected that there would be a apersistence of transmission as opposed to other countries which have maintained much more stringent preventive measures,a said Bassat.

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UK vaccines watchdog aapproves second jabs for 16 and 17-year-oldsa

Announcement on teenagers expected as prime minister urges people to get booster shots

The governmentas vaccines watchdog is understood to have approved the idea of second Covid vaccinations for teenagers aged 16 and 17, putting in place another element of plans to boost protection from the virus into the winter.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) decided in favour of first jabs for the age group in early August, saying at the time it was likely that second shots would begin 12 weeks after the first dose.

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Cheltenhamas Covid controversy rears its head again as crowds return

Racegoers wonat be deterred if vaccine passports are introduced for a day at the races given the continuing rise in cases

Excitement mingled with a nagging sense of dA(c)jA vu here on Friday as spectators flooded back into jump racingas spiritual home for the first time since March 2020. Nineteen months on from a Gold Cup week that came to symbolise the foot-dragging on the road to lockdown, Covid cases are on the rise once again and the echoes were difficult to avoid.

Around 12,000 spectators were expected at Cheltenham on Friday and perhaps 16,000 for the second day of the meeting on Saturday, less than a quarter of the 68,859 who packed the grandstands and carpeted the enclosures as Al Boum Photo won the Gold Cup on 13 March 2020. The brief cheer as the tapes went back for the opening race was far removed from the famous roar that sends them on their way at the Festival.

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Finally, Facebook can say itas not the most toxic social network | Marina Hyde

Donald Trumpas plans to launch a platform are good news for Mark Zuckerberg, whoall be busy prebutting the next damning exposA(c) of his company

By rights, these should really be what we might euphemise as Donald Trumpas ahidden yearsa. Though he might not have been expected to descend immediately to full late-era Howard Hughes a four-inch fingernails and tissue boxes on his feet a the aesthetics of this third act in Trumpas American life felt promisingly tragicomic.

The 45th president would live out an excruciatingly undignified post-office twilight down at Mar-a-Lago, railing like some 19th-hole Lear about his lost kingdom, shuffling his sad buffet tray of trans fats along the line in the communal restaurants of his home/tacky-membersa-club hybrid, and grabbing the mic at weddings held on the premises to assure bemused guests that he was days, maybe even hours, away from securing gamechanging recounts in this or that state.

Marina Hyde is a Guardian columnist

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Disabled people need more help to live, not to die | Jane Campbell

I have a progressive condition myself, and I believe the assisted dying bill would harm far more people than it would help

The idea of dying frightens most of us, and many fear what the future holds. Not everyone will be able to have a agood deatha free from pain or suffering, and having control over your final hours, as offered by aassisted dyinga, is an appealing option.

Iave been close to death many times because my condition is getting progressively life-limiting. I understand and sympathise with those desperate to see a change in the law of assisted dying. For people with progressive conditions (those where symptoms or functions get worse over time) and disabilities, healthcare and social support can be a lottery. Nobody wants to be left in pain and without dignity, and nor should they be.

Jane Campbell of Surbiton is a crossbench peer in the House of Lords

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As a chief constable, Iave seen enough: itas time to end the awar on drugsa | Richard Lewis

I know addicts can commit odious acts. But treating drug use as a criminal justice problem causes thousands of needless deaths

When I first met Andy, I got the sense that he hadnat been born at all but rather quarried out of a mountainside: a big man with a warm smile who, as we spoke, was injecting medical-grade heroin into a line in his lower leg. As a serving chief constable, this was one of the more unusual introductions Iave made with a member of the community.

Andy must have sensed my confusion at his apparent health and physical stature for a person on the heroin-assisted treatment programme in Middlesbrough, the first of its kind in England and Wales. aHeroin doesnat make you skinny,a he said. aItas just that heroin comes first and last and thereas never any money left for food. Thatas why addicts are thin.a

Richard Lewis is chief constable of Cleveland police

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Martin Rowson on the Queenas overnight hospital stay a cartoon

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With Covid infections rising, the Tories are conducting a deadly social experiment | Andy Beckett

The apersonal responsibilitya mantra has gone hand in hand with more deaths. Why has England gone along with it?

A pandemic is a political event. It exposes who is vulnerable and who can afford to escape, who is prioritised for treatment and who is neglected. The politics of a pandemic are both large-scale and intensely personal. How we behave towards each other, what balance is struck between safety and freedom, how blame is distributed, what a country considers an acceptable level of illness and death: questions that may once have been philosophical have become frighteningly real.

In Britain, the politics of Covid have been thought about and discussed almost entirely in party terms: the relative caution and competence of the SNP government in Scotland and its Labour counterpart in Wales; the recklessness and lethal mistakes of the Conservatives in England, and whether Labour can make the Tories pay for them. The pandemic has been seen as a potential turning point for all the main parties.

Andy Beckett is a Guardian columnist

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I lost a TV role because I was pregnant a and Iam far from the only one | Jade Anouka

My pregnancy made no difference to the part, but insurers wouldnat cover me. Talent is too often lost to discrimination

The entertainment industry likes to think it is a champion of diversity and inclusivity, jumping to call out those who are homophobic, racist, ableist and sexist. But as a queer black female actor I know all too well how far we still have to go. There is another prejudice infesting the industry, one that is kept in the shadows: pregnancy discrimination.

I was recently offered a TV role unlike any Iad been given the opportunity to play before and I was thrilled. I was pregnant when cast, but I knew this wouldnat pose any challenges for the production: the character spent most of the story sitting down, the setting meant clothing could cover my bump, or the character could be pregnant, especially as all the action took place over a matter of days.

Jade Anouka is an actor who has appeared in His Dark Materials and on stage in the Donmar Shakespeare Trilogy

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Britain must control Covid now a or face a winter lockdown | Devi Sridhar

The infection rate is surging. We need to adopt plan B, on masks and vaccine certification a Europe has shown it works

In Frankfurt, Germany, you canat simply grab a burger inside a restaurant, go to an indoor pool or have a drink in an indoor bar. Before doing so, you have to present either certification of full vaccination, or a negative test result from the last 24 hours. To make this work, testing centres are literally at every corner (often in converted barber shops), with results available within 10-15 minutes (you can either wait for the result, or have it emailed to you). Testing is free for children under 12 (who cannot be vaccinated yet) and for those who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons.

And these arenat the only precautions. When in shops and on public transport, masks are required a and not cloth masks. Only surgical or FFP2 medical grade masks are permitted. And Oktoberfest, the largest beer festival in the world, was cancelled this year owing to limits on mass gatherings and international travel.

Prof Devi Sridhar is chair of global public health at the University of Edinburgh

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Digested week: it feels outrageous to have a cold again | Emma Brockes

Everyone I know is sick, and in our house itas every man for himself

Itas a feature of single parenting that you have to outsource some aspects of your childrenas education to people beyond the immediate family. Where a partner or spouse might fill in your gaps, friends must be called upon. My gaps are, among other things, maths, American history, effective confrontation, the interstate system and the turnpikes that lead to it, and some music stuff I thought I might get away with.

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The Guardian view on climate secrets: leaked documents reveal rising stakes

Lobbying on behalf of fossil fuels should surprise no one. But the world must follow the science

There should be no surprise about leaked documents showing governments lobbying hard against clauses in an upcoming report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that they regard as detrimental to their interests. Ever since the start of the UN process aimed at preventing unchecked global heating (known as Cop, short for Conference of the Parties), countries have sought to protect their own industries, economies and people a particularly the fossil fuel businesses that have powered capitalist development since the Industrial Revolution.

Last time the nations met, in Madrid in 2019, progress was scuppered by a wall of resistance with President Trump perched on top. The hope was that with Trump gone, and a US administration in place that recognises the need for action, such blockages could be overcome. This remains the aim in the run-up to the conference opening in Glasgow next weekend. Given the warnings from scientists, who are unequivocal about the dangers, there is no rational alternative than to persist with the attempt at global climate governance that the Cop represents. As the British Treasury acknowledged in a review published this week, the cost of inaction will be higher than the cost of action.

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