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Restorationists urge Jill Biden to erase Melania Trump’s Rose Garden makeover

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:53

A petition, signed by more than 54,000 people, calls on Biden to return the garden to its ‘former glory’ as Jacqueline Kennedy designed

Efforts to erase the Trump family legacy have reached the White House potting sheds and nurseries with first lady Jill Biden being urged to restore the mansion’s garden to a state that predates ex-First Lady Melania Trump’s 2019 makeover.

An online petition calling on professor Biden to return the Rose Garden to its “former glory” has been signed by more than 54,000 people. The petition says Biden’s predecessor “had the cherry trees, a gift from Japan, removed as well as the rest of the foliage and replaced with a boring tribute to herself”.

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White House announces 100m American adults fully vaccinated – US politics live

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:53

6.53pm BST

Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois announced her retirement today:

Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), House Democrats’ former campaign chief, announced Friday she would retire from Congress after this term.

“As I turn every corner on each decade of life, I take time to reflect and evaluate what my next chapter might bring,” she said in a statement. “That’s how, 10 years ago, I decided to run for Congress. And it’s why, today, I am announcing I will not seek reelection after completing this term.”

6.29pm BST

More on the breaking cat mews.

NBC asked how the Bidens thought things would go with Major, the first ever White House dog to come from a rescue shelter, who has been exiled to the family home in Delaware lately for training after having trouble adjusting to the busy White House and being involved in some biting incidents.

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Rahul hits 91 not out as Punjab beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:49
KL Rahul's unbeaten 91 from 57 balls helped Punjab Kings to a comfortable 34-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Hamilton quickest in second practice at Portuguese Grand Prix

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:41
Lewis Hamilton heads Max Verstappen by 0.143 seconds to lead the way in second practice at the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Glamorgan thrash winless Kent by 10 wickets: county cricket – as it happened

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:34

Kent and Glamorgan were the only sides in Group Three without a win, and it took just two days for Glamorgan to triumph in emphatic style

6.55pm BST

Kent and Glamorgan went into their game in Cardiff as the only sides in Group Three without a win, and it took just two days for Glamorgan to end their troubled run in emphatic style and for Kent to be condemned to a third successive heavy defeat.

The day had started with Darren Stevens completing a five-fer on his 45th birthday as Glamorgan were bowled out for 197, a lead of 59 runs on first innings. But in their second knock the 18 runs put on by Kent’s opening pair turned out to be their (joint) biggest partnership, Stevens’s birthday was further soured by a three-ball duck, and it was Michael Hogan whose five‑fer proved more decisive as the visitors were bowled out for just 74. Glamorgan scored the 16 runs they needed in three overs, with David Lloyd finishing it with a six.

6.34pm BST

Right, I’m going to go. My round-up will plop here shortly. Bye!

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Israel crush: Netanyahu promises inquiry as first victims are buried

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:24
A crush at an Orthodox Jewish festival kills 45 people in one of the country's worst disasters.

Zoë Roth sells 'Disaster Girl' meme as NFT for $500,000

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:21
Zoë Roth, 21, will use the money from the sale of a 2005 image of her to pay her student loan.

Talking Horses: Mutasaabeq can collect colts’ Classic in 2,000 Guineas

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:19

Charles Hills’s colt lacks experience but stormed clear of a small field in a lightning-fast time at the Craven meeting

Aidan O’Brien has a record 10 wins in the 2,000 Guineas to his name already and has enough confidence in a three-strong team for this year’s Newmarket Classic to keep St Mark’s Basilica, the Dewhurst winner, at Ballydoyle while he waits for the French equivalent.

That feels ominous for the home team but while Battleground, Wembley and Van Gogh all have solid claims, there is no sense of a standout colt in the O’Brien squad, or in the race as a whole for that matter.

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How Bafta spent two weeks grappling with Noel Clarke dilemma

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:09

Academy says it was in ‘impossible’ situation but it faces questions over delays in offering safeguarding to alleged victims

When Bafta announced its plan to give Noel Clarke the award for outstanding British contribution to cinema on 29 March 2021, the academy’s film committee chair, Marc Samuelson, described him as an “inspiration … [we] cannot think of a more deserving recipient for this year’s award”.

Others in Britain’s film industry disagreed. Within hours, Bafta was contacted jointly by three industry figures alerting it to the existence of several allegations of verbal abuse, bullying and sexual harassment against Clarke.

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Deadly fighting on Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border kills at least 31

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:07
Thousands of people are evacuated following some of the worst border fighting in years.

Labour needs to go for the jugular on Tory elitism | Owen Jones

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:02

The current approach to ‘sleaze’ risks entrenching the cynicism many already feel about politics in general

Anywhere I’ve visited – market towns, Barratt estates, inner cities – and asked strangers their opinions on politics, the answers quickly drift in a predictable direction: politicians are all on the take, they’re in it for themselves, lining their pockets and taking us all for a ride. Politicians are less trusted than advertising executives – only one in seven trusts them to be honest – which is why the guaranteed route to receiving applause from a Question Time audience is to dismiss politicians as “all the same”. Episodes such as the expenses scandal, quite predictably, poured accelerant over an already raging bonfire of cynicism: the number of voters believing MPs put their own interests above all else surged.

If any good emerged from Boris Johnson reportedly declaring he would rather see the “bodies pile high” than lock down the country, it was that we would finally discuss how the government oversaw a pandemic death toll three times higher than the Luftwaffe managed in the blitz. Instead, we are now debating John Lewis curtains. That is not to dismiss the validity of the scrutiny the prime minister is under. A man sacked twice for deceit is a proven and objective liar; a man who, 12 years ago, dismissed his £250,000 second salary from the Telegraph as “chicken feed” clearly enjoys a standard of living most would deem luxurious as intolerable squalor. If a prime minister can receive secret lumps of money from anonymous wealthy donors, the electorate is denied the ability to scrutinise if there are any government rewards for such generosity.

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Garry Kasparov: ‘Why become a martyr? I can do much more outside Russia’

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:01

The chess grandmaster on speaking out against Vladimir Putin and why he cannot choose the best player ever

“I haven’t stopped my fight against the regime,” says Garry Kasparov, his words bristling with defiance and quiet rage. “I’m not lowering my voice. Putin is not just a Russian imperialist. He has a much bigger agenda. He is an existential threat to the free world.”

It would have been easy for the greatest chess player in history to stay quiet after fleeing Russia in 2013 amid a crackdown on prominent opposition figures. Kasparov, after all, is a successful businessman, an expert on artificial intelligence and cyber security, and has just launched a new website, Kasparovchess.com. But that has never been his style. Not now. Not ever.

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Tom Jones, 80, becomes oldest man to top UK album chart

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 17:00

Welsh singer says he is ‘forever grateful’ for achievement but remains 12 years behind Vera Lynn’s all-time benchmark

At 80 years of age, Tom Jones has become the oldest man to top the UK album chart, with his latest album Surrounded By Time.

It comes 56 years after his first album chart placing, his 1965 debut Along Came Jones.

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Janet Mock Demands More Pay for ‘Pose’ in Fiery Speech at Premiere: ‘You Have Stomped on Us’

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:55
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

At the emotional New York City premiere for the third and final season of Pose on Thursday night, there were tears and there were truths. In the case of executive producer and director Janet Mock, who delivered a remarkable, at times uncomfortable and messy, and possibly industry-changing speech, there were dramatic examples of both.

“Fuck Hollywood,” she said early on in her address to the audience, which lasted about 15 minutes. “This makes you uncomfortable? It should. It should make you fucking shake in your motherfucking boots. This is speaking the truth. This is what Pose is.”

The socially distanced, COVID-safe event took place at Jazz at Lincoln Center. It was one of the first major in-person premieres of its kind this year in New York and the first that FX, which will premiere the new season of Pose on Sunday, has hosted in well over a year.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Ireland's summer tour of Fiji cancelled because of Covid-19 pandemic

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:53
Ireland's summer tour to Fiji is cancelled because of uncertainty caused by the pandemic, with the IRFU hopeful of arranging alternative Tests

The Guardian view on Biden’s 100 days: going big, but not big enough | Editorial

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:51

The US president is right to spend, but shrinking the federal deficit is not the priority

Joe Biden’s first 100 days in office signalled that the future does not have to be a rerun of the past. The US president’s speech to Congress this week made it clear that Trumpism was a warning from history, a reminder that no republic is guaranteed to last. The US remains in danger – its decline accelerated by an iniquitous economic model, and by leaders unable or unwilling to remedy it. It is a relief to find in the White House a president who wants to bridge divisions rather than widen them. Mr Biden should be praised for saying he will stop the rot and recognising the challenge to democracy posed by autocracy. But his response risks being undone by an obsession with containing non-existent fiscal risks.

The Biden White House proposes spending $4trn, with about half the money used to rewrite the social contract. The rest will create jobs, with infrastructure investments to repurpose the post-Covid economy for a zero-carbon world. The problem is not that money is being spent to fix a broken society. Neither is it wrong to ask the rich to pay their fair share of tax. The problem is that Mr Biden says spending must be balanced by tax rises or savings from other government programmes.

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The Guardian view on the world’s rarest stamp: obsession conquers all | Editorial

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:49

The appeal of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta may seem inexplicable, but it tells a very human story

It has been described as a “shoddy-looking thing”, and like “a red-wine stain or a receipt that’s been through the wash a few times”. The item in question is a stamp, one of a kind. It is now on public view in London, ahead of its auctioning in New York in June, when it is expected to fetch around £10m.

The story of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta began when, in 1855, only 5,000 of an expected 50,000 stamps were shipped to the colony from England. The postmaster therefore commissioned “contingency” stamps – crude versions of the official issues, some of them four-cent stamps for letters, some one-cent stamps for newspapers, which were briefly put into circulation. Not a single example of the one-cent stamp was known to have been kept, until a small boy called Vernon Vaughan found one among his uncle’s papers in 1873 and sold it to a chum for six shillings.

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Prison governor defends Fishmongers’ Hall attacker attending education event

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:47

William Styles says he had thought of Usman Khan as a ‘success story’ before he killed Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones

A prison governor has defended allowing the terrorist Usman Khan to take part in a Learning Together education programme before his deadly attack at Fishmongers’ Hall in London.

William Styles, who was governor for most of Khan’s time at the jail for terrorist offences, told an inquest that months before Khan killed Jack Merritt and Saskia Jones at a prisoner education event run by Learning Together in November 2019, he had thought Khan was “a success story” of the programme.

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California drought forces 15m salmon to take unusual route to Pacific: by road

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:44

State officials will truck the young fish to the ocean, with the waterways they use to travel downstream historically low

California officials will truck more than 15 million young salmon raised at fish hatcheries in the state’s Central Valley agricultural region to the Pacific Ocean because projected river conditions show that the waterways the fish use to travel downstream will be historically low and warm due to increasing drought.

Officials announced the huge trucking operation on Wednesday, saying the effort is aimed at ensuring “the highest level of survival for the young salmon on their hazardous journey to the Pacific Ocean”.

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‘It’s going to be emotional’: clubbers return in Liverpool Covid pilot

News Round-up - Fri, 04/30/2021 - 16:43

Three thousand people attend the First Dance, a day rave organised to test the safety of large events

“Last night we were all saying that we felt like kids on Christmas Eve,” said Olivia Hall, a 19-year-old student describing a conversation between herself and her friends. “We were all sat last night watching the telly thinking: ‘Oh God, we don’t want to go to sleep because we’re not going to sleep,’ we were all lying in bed too excited.”

Hall and her friends were some of the first to arrive at an empty warehouse on the outskirts of Liverpool city centre, which, with the help of a thumping sound system and LED lights, had been transformed into a day rave for 3,000 people.

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