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Pakistan polio fears as Covid-19 causes millions of children to miss vaccinations

Officials voice concern as coronavirus halts annual programme in country already struggling against resurgence in casesIn April, almost 40 million children missed their polio drops in Pakistan after the cancellation of the nationwide vaccination campaign. Alongside Afghanistan, Pakistan is one of only two countries in the world where polio is still endemic. It was very close to becoming  polio free, with only 12 cases in 2018, but last year the number of cases rose to 147. In the same year, Paki...
Tags: Health, Society, World news, Afghanistan, South and Central Asia, Infectious Diseases, Pakistan, Global development, Vaccines and immunisation, Polio, Immunology, Afghanistan Pakistan, Coronavirus outbreak


The power of crowds

Even before the pandemic, mass gatherings were under threat from draconian laws and corporate seizure of public space. Yet history shows that the crowd always finds a way to return. By Dan HancoxAs lockdown loomed in March, I became obsessed with a football anthem for a team 400 miles away. I had read a news story about Edinburgh residents singing a Proclaimers song called Sunshine on Leith from their balconies. I didn’t know the song, and when I looked it up, I found a glorious video of 26,000 ...
Tags: Football, Society, Rangers, Edinburgh, Hampden Park, Hibernian, Leith, Coronavirus outbreak, Dan HancoxAs


Health officials make last-minute plea to stop lockdown easing in England

Royal College of Nursing also fears lifting of more restrictions on ‘happy Monday’ is too earlyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageSenior public health officials have made a last-minute plea for ministers to scrap Monday’s easing of the coronavirus lockdown in England, warning the country is unprepared to deal with any surge in infection and that public resolve to take steps to limit transmisson has been eroded.The Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH) said new...
Tags: Health, Politics, England, Society, UK News, Public services policy, Doctors, Nursing, Health policy, Royal College of Nursing, Robert Jenrick, Coronavirus outbreak, Association of Directors of Public Health ADPH


'Ginormous challenge': Boy with cerebral palsy completes marathon

Tobias Weller raises £53,000 for charity by walking up and down Sheffield road for 70 daysThere were cheers from physically distanced crowds as nine-year-old Tobias Weller, a boy with autism and cerebral palsy, completed his remarkable challenge to walk a marathon to raise money for charity.Nicknamed Captain Tobias, he has been walking up and down the Sheffield road where he lives for 70 days. He initially hoped to raise £500. A flood of support led to him raising the target to £30,000. On Sunda...
Tags: Society, UK News, Charities, Sheffield, North Of England, Tobias, Tobias Weller


Manchester tower block residents ineligible for £1bn recladding fund

Leaseholders facing huge bills are told cash does not cover work started before 11 MarchResidents of a Manchester tower block facing bills of thousands of pounds to fix dangerous cladding have been dealt “a massive blow” after finding out they are ineligible to apply for the government’s new £1bn building safety fund.The fund, which was officially launched on Tuesday, excludes remediation work that started before 11 March – the day the fund was announced as part of the spring budget. Continue re...
Tags: Housing, Communities, Society, UK News, Manchester, Greater Manchester, Grenfell Tower fire


Out on the 'microbeats' where police hope to reclaim London's streets from gangs

Crime has fallen in lockdown, and the Met has a new strategy to take back control. The Observer goes out with the ‘violence suppression unit’ in CroydonThey are known as MBs – microbeats – small sections of London synonymous with drugs and violence. The scruffy strip of shops that lines London Road outside West Croydon station is the most notorious MB in the south London borough, itself one of the metropolis’s most violent by far.Covid-19 brought a brief hiatus to Croydon’s cycle of violence. No...
Tags: London, Crime, Police, Communities, Society, UK News, Gangs, Metropolitan Police, Croydon, London Road, West Croydon


I like the sound of my own voice – but does that make me a narcissist?

Millennials are said to be more narcissistic than any other cohort of society. A self-confessed self-obsessive works out whether that’s a problemI was on the phone to a friend recently, blathering away as usual, when I realised that there was no one on the other end of the line. How long ago had this happened? I checked my phone and discovered, to my horror, that the call had ended almost five minutes ago.In the pub with another friend, not long after this incident, I asked how self-obsessed she...
Tags: Relationships, Friendship, Social Media, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Health & wellbeing


Experience: I raised an ocelot in the jungle

We would go out for hours at night hunting. I was so proud when he killed his first rodent by himselfI joined the army shortly after leaving school. Initially I enjoyed the feeling of brotherhood but, seven months after joining, I was deployed to Afghanistan. In the first week, I saw someone get shot in the head, and held his arm while he died. I was 18 years old. In the six months I was there, I experienced horrific events which led me to question my purpose in life.I’ve suffered with depressio...
Tags: Amazon, England, Animals, Environment, Americas, Life and style, Society, Mental Health, Afghanistan, Peru, Amazon Rainforest


New study challenges the narrative that meat is 'manly'

Media and societal norms have been feeding us the same "meat is manly" ideology for decades, maybe without many of us realizing it. A new study questions the stereotypical narrative that real men eat meat by taking a look at the variation in how men identify themselves and their values.The psychological link between meat and masculinity will likely remain alive and well, however, this study (and others that follow suit) can continue to challenge the narrative. The idea that "meat is manly" has ...
Tags: Psychology, Health, Food, Women, Society, Mindfulness, Innovation, Plants, Men, Vegetarian, Personal Growth, Adams, NMI, Cognitive Science, Gender Spectrum, Vegan Society


'I want my kids back': how overseas adoptions splinter Uganda's families

Birth mother’s legal battle to bring back son from US highlights flaws in system that allows children to be taken abroadWhen Mugalu* was adopted, his birth family says they were told they would still be able to speak to him regularly and he would come back for visits. “They said we would be one big happy family,” says his mother, Sylvia, wiping away tears.But Sylvia, 40, has not seen her son since he was adopted from Uganda almost seven years ago by an American couple. She is now fighting to get...
Tags: Children, Africa, US, Society, World news, Uganda, Adoption, Global development, Sylvia, Mugalu


'Do I really care?' Woody Allen comes out fighting

The 1992 accusation that the film-maker sexually assaulted his young daughter has made him a pariah, yet he was never charged. In this exclusive interview, he explains why he is done with treading carefullyWhen Woody Allen was 20, the writer Danny Simon taught him a few rules about comedy, the most important of which was this: always trust your own judgment, because external opinion is meaningless.Allen recounts this tale in his recently published memoir, Apropos of Nothing. That this book exist...
Tags: Film, Society, US news, Culture, New York Times, Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Allen, Ronan Farrow, Rape and sexual assault, MeToo Movement, Danny Simon


Most online grooming offences in UK committed on Facebook-owned apps

Data shows 55% of offences where the means of communication was given involved firm’s appsMore than half of online grooming offences recorded under a law that made it illegal to send sexual messages to children were committed on Facebook-owned apps, figures reveal.The data, obtained by the NSPCC under freedom of information laws, show 10,019 offences of sexual communication with a child were recorded since the legislation was introduced in April 2017. Continue reading...
Tags: Facebook, UK, Technology, Instagram, Privacy, Social Networking, Children, Social Media, Society, Whatsapp, Child protection, Social Care, NSPCC


World's oldest man dies in Hampshire aged 112

Family pays tribute to ‘witty, kind, knowledgeable conversationalist’ Bob Weighton The world’s oldest man, Bob Weighton, has died from cancer at the age of 112, his family have confirmed.The former teacher and engineer, from Alton, Hampshire, took up the title of the oldest man in the world in February after the death of the previous holder, Chitetsu Watanabe of Japan. Continue reading...
Tags: Japan, Society, UK News, Older people, Ageing, Hampshire, Bob Weighton, Alton Hampshire, Chitetsu Watanabe


MPs bring bill to ban late abortions for cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot

Cross-party group proposes ending UK abortions after 24 weeks for minor disabilitiesAbortion laws in Britain could be changed under cross-party proposals to ban late terminations on the grounds of minor physical abnormalities.The abortion (cleft lip, cleft palate and club foot) bill, led by the Conservative MP Fiona Bruce and supported by 13 MPs, will be presented in parliament on 3 June. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Politics, UK, Women, Conservative, Life and style, Society, UK News, Disability, Britain, Abortion, Fiona Bruce


MPs bring bill to ban late abortions for cleft lip, cleft palate and clubfoot

Cross-party group proposes ending UK abortions after 24 weeks for minor disabilitiesA cross-party group of MPs are seeking to change Britain’s abortion laws to ban late terminations that are carried out on the grounds of minor physical abnormalities.The abortion (cleft lip, cleft palate and clubfoot) bill, which is led by the Conservative MP Fiona Bruce and supported by 13 MPs, will be presented in parliament on 3 June. Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Politics, UK, Women, Conservative, Life and style, Society, UK News, Disability, Britain, Abortion, Fiona Bruce


Denied beds, pain relief and contact with their babies: the women giving birth amid Covid-19

Following reports worldwide, experts are warning that pandemic is pushing back progress on prenatal and maternity careCoronavirus - latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAfter Denisa’s son was born premature at 26 weeks she was unable to hold him, but spent as much time as possible near his incubator so he could get used to her voice. By the time he was well enough to be held by his mother, a state of emergency had been declared in Slovakia and Denisa was told to vacate her bed and leave...
Tags: Life and style, Society, World news, Infectious Diseases, Health & wellbeing, Global development, Reproductive Rights, Childbirth, Slovakia, Reproductive rights (developing countries, Denisa, Women's rights and gender equality, Coronavirus outbreak, COVID


Transfer trauma: America's seniors suffer as care system pushes them between sites

Unequal payment plans drive some corporate nursing home facilities to shed – or in some cases “hospital dump” – residents, distressing delicate elders. Rafiyq Friend bends his tall frame over his eldest brother and, with a paper straw, releases drops of water on to Thomas’s tongue. Thomas lost the strength to close his mouth a few days ago and his labored breathing – which hauls up his emaciated chest and then drops it – has turned his lips and tongue white with dryness.Cancer has now gotten the...
Tags: America, Society, US news, US healthcare, Older people, Thomas


The 'super-driven' ex-TalkTalk chief behind England's track-and-trace scheme

With UK’s route of lockdown dependent on success, Dido Harding faces a huge challengeCoronavirus – latest updatesGovernment unveils test-and-trace stragegy for England The ex-TalkTalk chief executive Dido Harding is facing one of the biggest moments in her eventful career, as she leads the government’s new track and trace programme upon which the country’s path out of lockdown depends.Baroness Harding, 52, the chair of NHS Improvement, was brought in to shoulder the responsibility of this signif...
Tags: Health, Politics, UK, England, Society, UK News, NHS, Dido Harding, Matt Hancock, Coronavirus outbreak, Baroness Harding


Larry Kramer, groundbreaking author and Aids activist, dies aged 84

Kramer founded pioneering Gay Men’s Health Crisis groupPlaywright and author died Wednesday morning in ManhattanThe groundbreaking American writer and tireless activist for gay rights and a national effort to tackle the HIV/Aids crisis, Larry Kramer, has died in New York. Related: Coronavirus US live: cases still increasing in two dozen states amid push to reopen Continue reading...
Tags: New York, US, Society, World news, US news, Aids and HIV, Kramer, Larry Kramer, Gay Men 's Health Crisis


How South Africa’s action on Covid-19 contrasts sharply with its response to Aids

Country’s swift response is distinct from the handling of the HIV crisis 20 years ago. Have lessons been learnt?Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverage Twenty years ago Nelson Mandela made an impassioned plea for international cooperation on “one of the greatest threats humankind has faced”.Aids was ravaging lives and overwhelming health systems, at its peak killing up to 1,000 people a day in South Africa. Continue reading...
Tags: Science, Africa, Society, World news, South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Infectious Diseases, Global development, Aids and HIV, Thabo Mbeki, Global Health, Coronavirus outbreak


‘The support has fizzled out a bit’: frontline workers on lockdown easing

We check in again with workers including a bus driver and a care home manager about their experiences of the pandemicCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn early April, frontline workers including a bus driver, a care home manager and a cemetery worker spoke to the Guardian about their experiences during the coronavirus paramedic. Two weeks later we checked in to hear how they had been coping with the peak of the virus.Now, another month on, with lockdown restrictions eas...
Tags: Society, UK News, Coronavirus outbreak


Anger over Dominic Cummings' actions has 'encouraged lockdown rule-breaking'

Government scientific adviser warns rejection of guidance raises risk of virus resurgenceCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageA scientific adviser to the government has warned that public anger over the conduct of Dominic Cummings has encouraged some people to break lockdown rules, raising the risk of a resurgence in coronavirus infections. Related: Tory revolt grows as minister resigns over Dominic Cummings' lockdown trip Continue reading...
Tags: Health, Politics, Science, Society, UK News, Dominic Cummings, Coronavirus outbreak


Jaden Moodie: 'reachable moment' missed to protect murdered teenager

Poor communication between authorities had impact on 14-year-old’s county lines exploitation, review findsOffficials failed to capitalise on a “reachable moment” with Jaden Moodie, the 14-year-old who was ultimately murdered in gang violence, when he was arrested three months before his death more than 100 miles from his home in possession of 39 wraps of crack cocaine.Moodie was knocked off his moped and set upon by four youths who stabbed him fatally nine times in January 2019 in the middle of ...
Tags: Politics, London, Drugs, Police, Society, UK News, Local Government, Leyton, MOODIE, Jaden Moodie, County lines


'A lot of benign neglect’: how Ghana’s social changes are isolating older people

The modernising economy is changing family structures – but can ‘western’ residential homes be accepted culturally?After breakfast on a Friday morning, a small group of elderly people are engaging in gentle exercises – walking to one end of a walled compound and back. Some of them need the assistance of nurses or walkers, or both, to complete the journey.“Usually, we do this a couple of times but it is a little bit cold today so we are going just once,” says Henry Ofori Mensah, administrator at ...
Tags: Health, Africa, Society, Mental Health, Global development, Dementia, Older people, Ghana, Accra Ghana, Kasoa, Coronavirus outbreak, Henry Ofori Mensah


WHO halts hydroxychloroquine trial for coronavirus amid safety fears

Malaria drug taken by Trump could raise risk of death and heart problems, study showsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThe World Health Organization has said it will temporarily drop hydroxychloroquine — the malaria drug Donald Trump said he is taking as a precaution — from its global study into experimental coronavirus treatments after safety concerns.The WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in light of a paper published last week in the Lancet that s...
Tags: Health, Science, Biology, Society, World news, Medical Research, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, Epidemics, Who, World Health Organization, Donald Trump, Lancet, Trump, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Coronavirus outbreak


Algorithms associating appearance and criminality have a dark past

'Phrenology' has an old-fashioned ring to it. It sounds like it belongs in a history book, filed somewhere between bloodletting and velocipedes. We'd like to think that judging people's worth based on the size and shape of their skull is a practice that's well behind us. However, phrenology is once again rearing its lumpy head.In recent years, machine-learning algorithms have promised governments and private companies the power to glean all sorts of information from people's appearance. Several ...
Tags: Crime, China, Society, History, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation, Anthropology, Cesare Lombroso, Criminal Justice, Wu, Francis Galton, Galton, Cyril Burt, Human body, Xi Zhang, Xiaolin Wu


Poll reveals half of parents unconvinced that school is safe for their children's return

Teachers’ union leader warns situation ‘untenable’ as health officials say track and trace system has been left too lateCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageParents are divided over the prospect of sending their children back to school, a new poll has revealed, as parent groups warned that mixed messages and poor communication had caused widespread anxiety about returning.With school leaders still grappling with the practicalities of reopening primary schools for some year...
Tags: England, Education, Society, UK News, Infectious Diseases, Epidemics, Schools, Primary schools, Education policy, Local Government, Parents and parenting, Opinion polls, David Laws, Mary Bousted, Coronavirus outbreak


Email leak reveals identities of sexual abuse victims in Northern Ireland

Names and contact details of 250 abuse survivors have been exposed by the body which was set up to compensate themHundreds of victims of institutional sexual abuse in Northern Ireland have had their identities exposed in a damaging email leak.The names and emails of 250 abuse survivors were revealed in a monthly newsletter of the body set up to investigate their claims and compensate the victims. Continue reading...
Tags: Children, Society, UK News, Northern Ireland, Child protection, Social Care


Europe's Covid predicament – how do you solve a problem like the anti-vaxxers?

Compulsory vaccination risks boosting a protest movement gaining ground in Europe’s citiesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageIn front of Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate a politically incongruous crowd of protesters gathered yesterday. They wore flowers in their hair, hazmat suits emblazoned with the letter Q, badges displaying the old German imperial flag or T-shirts reading “Gates, My Ass” – a reference to the US software billionaire Bill Gates.Around the globe, millions are ...
Tags: Health, Europe, Germany, Berlin, US, Society, World news, Vaccines and immunisation, Coronavirus outbreak


‘I was told to stop Julian Assange if he tried to flee’: on the beat with the UK’s volunteer police

Part-time special constables haven’t been in such demand for decades. What makes a lawyer, priest or fast-food worker sign up to fight crime for free? On a warm Saturday night in September last year, a man calls 999 to report that somebody has hit him in the face with a glass bottle outside a pub in west London. Special inspector Anthony Kay speeds to the scene in a police van, sirens blaring. As he and several other officers arrive at the pub, the injured man begins swearing at them, threatenin...
Tags: UK, Crime, Police, Society, Volunteering, Julian Assange, Metropolitan Police, Knife crime, Jamie, Kay, Silvia, Anthony Kay, London Special