Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor on William Onyeabor: 'His music never felt cold, it was exuberant'

The first William Onyeabor track I ever heard was Good Name. When the Going is Smooth and Good was a real crowdpleaser and quite challenging to make sound as good live as it was on the record. When we played his music live, I learned about how difficult it is to make something sound effortless and easy. He was working in an electronic world but imbuing it with a lot of charisma and life and playfulness: it never felt cold, it was exuberant. People from Luaka Bop were travelling to meet him to try and involve him in the live shows, but he wasn’t interested in looking back.

January 19, 2017 13:39 UTC

Were JG Ballard's billboards actually coded Salvador Dalí paintings?

But we may finally have the answer: these billboards were encrypted replicas of Salvador Dalí paintings. Returning to Ballard’s billboards in the context of his love of Dalí, a picture begins to emerge that links the esoteric words, names and phrases with soon-to-be-published stories. One billboard, “mr f is mr. f”, refers to Ballard’s 1961 surrealist short story of the same name. Another of Ballard’s billboards, T-12, mirrors Dalí’s 1931 painting Persistence of Memory. As with the “mr f is mr. f” billboard, the text stands in for objects and figures in Dalí’s painting.

January 19, 2017 13:28 UTC

Philippine president challenges Catholic church to 'showdown'

Rodrigo Duterte was furious about concerns by the Catholic church of alleged extrajudicial killings during his war on drugs, and lambasted clergymen for denouncing him instead of using their influence to help end addiction. Jesus Dureza said the pontiff had told him he would bless the Philippines, and “also bless your president”. In a speech to police officers, the firebrand leader of one of only two majority Catholic Asian countries challenged the church to a “showdown” and threatened to expose priests and bishops for a litany of abuses. What is the meaning of it?”The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines made no immediate comment about the attack. Dureza was at the Vatican to deliver a letter from the president, thanking the pope for his 2015 visit to the Philippines.

January 19, 2017 12:11 UTC

Tourists return to UK from the Gambia amid political chaos – video

Tourists arrive back in the UK late on Wednesday after leaving the Gambia. Holidaymakers were instructed to pack their bags as travel operator Thomas Cook prepared to fly home almost 1,000 tourists. The Senegalese army said its forces would cross the border if President Yahya Jammeh did not stand down following his defeat in last month’s election

January 19, 2017 11:25 UTC

Gabriel Jesus talks of ambitions after completing move to Manchester City

Manchester City have signed Gabriel Jesus for £27m from Palmeiras and the 19-year-old striker is likely to be in the squad for the home game against Tottenham on Saturday. The Brazilian, who aims “to be happy and to make all Manchester City fans happy too”, has been training with the club for three weeks while they completed due diligence regarding complications involving third-party ownership of the teenager. Jesus said: “I want to win titles and Manchester City is a club that is used to winning. The time has come for Manchester City to make a Premier League statement | Paul Wilson Read more“I can’t feel scared, being given an opportunity like this to change my life. My dream in a City shirt is to win titles, to be happy and to make all Manchester City’s fans happy too.

January 19, 2017 11:19 UTC

Crystal Palace move for Arsenal’s Carl Jenkinson collapses over personal terms

Crystal Palace’s search for recruits has been frustrated after failing to agree personal terms with the Arsenal full-back Carl Jenkinson following lengthy talks with the player and his representative. “With all the important games we have everyone is focused,” the manager said. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Arsène Wenger, pictured here with Alexis Sánchez, has spoken out against the proposed scrapping of the offside law. With all the important games we have of course it’s important we have all the experienced players back.”Wenger also offered an impassioned defence of an unloved part of football, the offside law. I think offside is a law that makes teams work together, which is an important quality in team sport.

January 19, 2017 11:19 UTC

'He does not have a mandate': anti-Trump inauguration plans sow defiance

On the contrary, Saranac Lake’s “Alternative Inauguration Party” will mark the defeat of Donald Trump’s brand of anti-establishment xenophobic nationalism. The counterintuitive idea of liberal victory in the 2016 presidential race is posited on Hillary Clinton’s startling triumph in the popular vote. Photograph: Ed Pilkington for the GuardianFor civil rights activist Al Sharpton, the issue of the popular vote is especially poignant and personal. The four organizers of the Alternative Inauguration Party have been lambasted as “seditious” by trolls on their Facebook page. After the alternative inauguration party is over they intend to keep going with a new campaign to reclaim the American flag.

January 19, 2017 11:00 UTC

Tehran fire: dozens of firefighters feared dead as tower collapses

Dozens of firefighters in Tehran are feared dead after the city’s oldest high-rise building caught fire and collapsed. Facebook Twitter Pinterest A rescue worker stands in rubble from the Plasco building. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Rescue workers help an injured man. Facebook Twitter Pinterest Rescuers and onlookers surround the collapsed tower. Facebook Twitter Pinterest The blaze at the Plasco building.

January 19, 2017 10:33 UTC

The inauguration of Donald Trump: your guide to the events in Washington

Donald Trump’s inauguration is quickly approaching as he prepares to be sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. The Trumps and Pences will attend three official inaugural balls, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee. The Great Gatsby Presidential Inaugural Ball, hosted by Dardanella, a party company, will take place at the National Portrait Gallery. The Women’s March on Washington will take place on Saturday, with numerous “sister marches” held around the country and around the world. The event in Washington will start at 10am at the intersection of Independence Avenue and Third Street SW, near the US Capitol.

January 19, 2017 10:00 UTC

UK having informal trade talks with at least 12 countries, says Fox

The UK is already discussing informal trade deals with at least 12 countries, despite being notionally prevented from striking deals while still a member of the EU, according to Liam Fox’s international trade department. In his piece for the Telegraph, Fox said “dozens of countries” were preparing to expand their trading links to the UK. The Telegraph named New Zealand and the Gulf Co-operation Council as two potential new trade alliances being informally investigated. Malloch told the Guardian he did not think the formal prohibition on a trade deal being sealed until the end of the two-year article 50 process would make a difference to that. “Since joining the EU, trade as a percentage of GDP has stagnated in the UK.

January 19, 2017 08:37 UTC

Flood disasters more than double across Europe in 35 years

The number of devastating floods that trigger insurance payouts has more than doubled in Europe since 1980, according to new research by Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company. The firm’s latest data shows there were 30 flood events requiring insurance payouts in Europe last year – up from just 12 in 1980 – and the trend is set to accelerate as warming temperatures drive up atmospheric moisture levels. “In Europe, we’ve seen a steep increase in flood events related to severe convective [thunder] storms. The frequency of flash floods has increased much more than river floods since 1980.”Storm intensity had also surged in Europe and abroad, he added. Last year, Munich Re estimates that $175bn was lost as a result of natural disasters, $50bn of which was covered by insurance policies.

January 19, 2017 08:00 UTC

Global warning: ominous signs for climate in Trump administration – live

As well as global efforts to reduce emissions and mitigate climate change, Brazilian officials, scientists and farmers are moving to adapt. Eduardo Assad, of the government’s agriculture research institute Embrapa, believes there is considerable potential to move coffee production to the southernmost state of Rio Grande do Sul. Even so, this would require huge disruption to Brazil’s agriculture, particularly to coffee farmers who usually require 15 to 20 years for a return on their investment. For now, most would rather stay put and use technology and chemicals to cope with rising climate challenges. “We don’t think the weather conditions will improve, so we are trying to adapt to the new climate variation,” he says.

January 19, 2017 07:03 UTC

African women form a united front in the battle for equality – podcast transcript

KS According to a 2016 report by the African Development Bank, only about 15% of African women are landowners. In the 1960s and 70s, across a number of African countries, these were largely one-party states, yes? I was the youngest member of the founding African Feminist Forum working group, and we worked to launch the African Feminist Forum in 2006 at the first regional forum, which was held in Accra, Ghana. JH So, basically, when you join the African Feminist Forum you sign up to the charter. KS That may well be the case but African feminists including Jessica do feel that there has been progress.

January 19, 2017 06:59 UTC

Shadow cabinet MPs 'considering' voting against article 50

Several members of Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow cabinet are considering refusing to vote for a bill triggering article 50, amid widespread concern among Labour MPs about the party’s response to Brexit. One shadow cabinet minister from a remain constituency told the Guardian: “I’m concerned that if we wave article 50 through, my constituents will go crazy.” Another said: “When the pain hits, as it will, and when people lose their jobs, you need to be on the right side of that. The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, who accepted a job in Corbyn’s shadow cabinet after the bitter summer leadership campaign, has sought to straddle the divide, and represent the concerns of both leave and remain voters. But some Labour MPs complained that stance was “too hedged; too nuanced”, and that they were left ill-prepared for the debate, and unsure what the party’s stance was until late on Tuesday afternoon. “But I know that there are people who voted leave did so after leave campaigners said Britain would be staying in the single market.

January 19, 2017 06:56 UTC

Queensland police appeal against court finding that response to Palm Island riots was racist

The Queensland police service has lodged an appeal after the federal court found officers had been racist in the aftermath of a death in custody on Palm Island in 2004. The Queensland attorney general, Yvette D’Ath, confirmed on Thursday she had instructed the director of public prosecutions to lodge an appeal on behalf of the QPS. 'You're my warrior': Lex Wotton and the fight for justice after the Palm Island riots Read moreWotton brought a class action on behalf of Palm Island community members for the pain they endured in early morning raids by officers in November 2004. On Thursday the police commissioner, Ian Stewart, said he was grateful the appeal had been lodged with the federal court. Stewart said the exact grounds for the appeal would become known once the matter came before the court.

January 19, 2017 03:51 UTC

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