New £185m Manchester tram line that unearthed burial site opens

A new £185m tram line, the construction of which unearthed hundreds of bodies in a burial site, has opened in Manchester city centre. The Second City Crossing runs from the neo-gothic town hall to Manchester Victoria station and is the final part of a £1.5bn transport expansion plan. Two years ago, engineers discovered the remains of 280 bodies in a cemetery less than half a metre (1.6ft) below Cross Street. The 18th-century graveyard belonged to nearby Cross Street chapel, which opened in 1694 and was destroyed by bombing during the second world war. Sir Richard Leese, the leader of Manchester city council, said the new line highlighted “how much the city has changed in such a short space of time, and represents a major milestone in Manchester’s continuing development and growth”.

February 26, 2017 10:07 UTC

The Raqqa Diaries: life under Isis rule

The Raqqa Diaries began as a series of broadcasts on Radio 4’s Today programme. March 2013I will never forget the time when Daesh [Isis] first appeared on the streets of our city. Facebook Twitter Pinterest A bombed Raqqa street, as illustrated in The Raqqa Diaries. This is an edited extract from The Raqqa Diaries: Escape from Islamic State by Samer, published by Hutchinson (£9.99). When I think of a future life free from the criminality of Isis, it gives me a glimmer of hope.

February 26, 2017 09:56 UTC

Tory peer Michael Heseltine to rebel on Brexit bill

Tory peer Michael Heseltine has vowed to rebel against Theresa May over Brexit and back opposition efforts in the House of Lords to ensure a meaningful vote on the final outcome of exit negotiations. He said Labour, Liberal Democrat and rebellious Tory colleagues ready to back a change to the Brexit bill simply wanted to uphold the supreme court’s ruling that MPs and peers had ultimate authority. Writing in the Mail On Sunday, Lord Heseltine said: “In the end the outcome of Brexit will have to be confirmed by parliament. It will also have to pass in 27 national European parliaments, several sub-national parliaments and the European parliament. The House of Commons voted the bill through unamended and with a large majority of 372.

February 26, 2017 09:30 UTC

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

There are other bigger, and even more deliberate strategies, and shining brightly, the star at the centre of the Mercer media galaxy, is Breitbart. When Robert Mercer started supporting Trump, Cambridge Analytica came too. Cambridge Analytica has the technological tools to effect behavioural and psychological change, she said, but it’s SCL that strategises it. And while Bannon understands the media, Mercer understands big data. What I suspect Cambridge Analytica do is that they build probability models of how people vote.

February 26, 2017 09:00 UTC

Edge of darkness: looking into the black hole at the heart of the Milky Way

At the heart of our galaxy, a vast black hole is devouring matter from the dust clouds that surround it. “To be precise, we are not going to take a direct photograph of the black hole at our galaxy’s heart. Working with US astrophysicist Kip Thorne, Nolan went to considerable pains to develop something that looked like a “realistic” black hole. The Event Horizon Telescope has not been designed solely to study our Milky Way’s black hole, however. “However, the M87 black hole is much more active than our black hole.

February 26, 2017 07:41 UTC

Heal thyself: meet the doctors living with the conditions they treat

I’ve had patients say: “I think you might have experienced this as well? Almost all my patients come to me with a diagnosis in advanced lung cancer. A CT scan backed this up and I suspected I had stage III lung cancer, because I’d seen patients present exactly the same way. Once part of my left lung had been removed and the mass in my chest biopsied, it turned out I had a large cell lymphoma, rather than lung cancer. That really brought home to me the importance of family and friends in the cancer patient’s experience.

February 26, 2017 07:05 UTC

Condor moments: trekking in Patagonia

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Animal magic … pumas in the Torres del Paine national park. They say Patagonia is the only place on earth where you can experience all four seasons in a single day. Heavy rain pounded our sparsely furnished dome at Eco Camp and the wind howled. Facebook Twitter Pinterest High camp … eco tents in the shadow of the Torres del Paine national park. He stayed at Eco Camp.

February 26, 2017 07:01 UTC

Rutger Bregman: ‘We could cut the working week by a third’

But as bad as that situation is, it still doesn’t explain how a universal basic income would be paid for. He says that even neoliberal economists such as Milton Friedman were keen on universal basic income (UBI), although they tend to call it negative income tax. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Tesla founder Elon Musk is a supporter of the idea of a universal basic income. In a way Bregman has less of a hard sell with shorter working hours. However, there are still problems to iron out, some of which Bregman doesn’t tackle in his book.

February 26, 2017 06:56 UTC

Amir Khan and Manny Pacquiao agree to 'super fight' in April

Multiple world champion Manny Pacquiao has agreed to fight Britain’s Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan on 23 April, with both boxers on Sunday confirming their intentions to appear in a “super fight”. “Negotiations between team Pacquiao and team Khan have come to terms for the April 23 bout as this is what the fans wanted,” Pacquiao tweeted. The 30-year-old Khan, who won silver as a lightweight at the Athens Olympics, has not fought since last May when he moved up two weight classes to fight middleweight Canelo Álvarez. “My team and I have agreed terms with Manny Pacquiao and his team for a super fight,” Khan said on his Twitter page. Pacquiao won the WBO welterweight title last November against American Jessie Vargas in Las Vegas with an unanimous decision.

February 26, 2017 06:33 UTC

Tried green tomatoes?

But rather than just sticking to familiar red varieties, this year I implore you to try something that most people seem instinctively to avoid without ever giving them a go, delicious green tomatoes. If you want to give green tomatoes a go this summer, here are three of my favourite ones (I have tested dozens) to get you started. Beneath forest green striped fruit lies bright, tangy, almost citrus flesh with a good old wallop of umami. Green GrapeI’d grow this one for looks alone, with beautiful, translucent, grape-sized fruit that look like they have been carved from jade. Think “classic tomato” with hints of lychee and (surprise, surprise) green muscat grape.

February 26, 2017 06:00 UTC

Teaching morality to robots | Daniel Glaser

Every week comes a new warning that robots are taking over our jobs. People have become troubled by the question of how robots will learn ethics, if they do take over our work and our planet. We teach children morality before algebra. If we’re interested in really making robots think more like we do, we can’t retrofit morality and ethics. Dr Daniel Glaser is director of Science Gallery at King’s College London.

February 26, 2017 06:00 UTC

Why Testosterone Rex is extinct | Cordelia Fine

As Herbert explains, these are exactly the masculine qualities that, according to received wisdom regarding our evolutionary past, were so necessary for male reproductive success. This is Testosterone Rex: that familiar, plausible, pervasive and powerful story of sex and society. But Testosterone Rex gets it wrong, wrong and wrong again. Testosterone Rex is extinct. Testosterone Rex: Unmaking the Myths of our Gendered Mind by Cordelia Fine is published by Icon Books at £14.99.

February 26, 2017 06:00 UTC

Dozens hurt after truck hits crowds watching parade in New Orleans – video

A vehicle driven by a man suspected to be ‘highly intoxicated’ drove into a crowd watching the Endymion parade in the Mid-City neighbourhood of New Orleans on Saturday night, injuring at least 28 people. Speaking at the scene, superintendent of the New Orleans police department, Michael Harrison, said the driver of the pickup truck was now in custody where he is being investigated for driving while intoxicated. The police do not suspect terrorism.

February 26, 2017 05:26 UTC

New Orleans: dozens injured after pickup truck ploughs into parade crowd

Vehicle driven by a man suspected to be ‘highly intoxicated’ drove into a crowd watching the Endymion parade in the Mid-City neighbourhoodAt least 28 people, including a young child, were injured when a vehicle ploughed into a crowd watching the Krewe of Endymion parade in the Mid-City section of New Orleans. David Hammer (@davidhammerWWL) At least 4 loaded into ambulances by Endymion parade at Carrollton and Orleans after car hits people. @WWLTV (@ShannonWVTM13) NBCNC: Scene where a vehicle crashed into spectators of the Krewe of Endymion parade in New Orleans. @WVTM13 (@chiIIum) #MardiGras2017 Orleans & Carrollton - at least a dozen are critical after someone slammed their vehicle into the Endymion crowd. One woman at the scene told The New Orleans Advocate that a silver truck whisked by her just feet away as she was walking through the intersection.

February 26, 2017 02:17 UTC

Australia and Indonesia announce restored defence cooperation

Malcolm Turnbull has trumpeted full restoration of defence cooperation with Indonesia and improved access for Australian sugar and cattle exports as outcomes achieved from Joko Widodo’s visit. In January Indonesia suspended military cooperation with Australia for “technical reasons” believed to relate to offensive materials displayed at an Australian military base. On Sunday Turnbull said he and Widodo agreed to “the full restoration of defence cooperation, training exchanges, and activities”. In other announcements, Turnbull said Australia would open a new consulate general in Indonesia’s second largest city, Surabaya. Widodo thanked Australia for its support of Indonesia’ chairmanship of the Indian Ocean Rim Association and said Turnbull would attend the Iora leaders summit in Indonesia in March 2017.

February 26, 2017 02:15 UTC

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