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Latest news and comment from Britain | guardian.co.uk 

Greeks begin voting in referendum as the euro faces its biggest challenge

Almost 9.9 million Greeks have the right to vote in Sunday’s plebiscite on whether the country should accept the terms of its creditors Greeks began voting in a referendum on Sunday that presents the biggest challenge to the running of the euro since its adoption and risks sending shock waves through the world’s financial markets.The nationwide ballot was taking place at the end of a week

China freezes new share offers in bid to shore up plunging stock markets

Beijing has also set up a market-stabilisation fund, according to reports, as fund managers pledge to invest $19bn in the local share marketChina has frozen share offers and set up a market-stabilisation fund, according to reports, as Beijing intensified efforts to pull stock markets out of a nose-dive that is threatening the world’s second-largest economy.The Wall Street Journal report th

France and Germany intervened over World Cup votes, says Sepp Blatter

The German football body was told to vote for Qatar for ‘economic reasons’, Fifa president tells a newspaper, adding that he is ‘tired of taking the blame’Fifa president Sepp Blatter has said that France and Germany applied political pressure before the 2018 and 2022 World Cups were awarded to Russia and Qatar, respectively.Blatter told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that “there wer

Charlotte, royal family's newest princess, to be christened in Norfolk

Queen and other royals gather as Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children prepare to appear in public for first time as family of fourThe Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their two children will appear in public for the first time as a family of four on Sunday when Princess Charlotte is christened in front of the Queen and close family.Large crowds are expected to gather for a

Chile 0-0 Argentina (Chile win 4-1 on pens) | Copa América final match report

• Chile 0-0 Argentina (Chile win 4-1 on pens)After 99 years, it came down to Alexis Sánchez against Sergio Romero from 12 yards. The Arsenal forward attempted a Panenka, scuffed it badly, and scored anyway as the goalkeeper dived to his left. Misses from Gonzalo Higuaín and Éver Banega in the shootout proved decisive and, finally, Chile, one of the four participants at the inaugural Copa Améric

UN demands urgent release of British activist on death row in Ethiopia over torture fears

The Foreign Office has pushed for consular access to Andargachew Tsige with no tangible results, since the British citizen was abducted in Ethiopia a year agoThe UN has demanded the immediate release of a Briton held on death row in Ethiopia for more than a year, an intervention that campaigners say exposes Britain’s poor diplomacy towards the case. Continue reading...

Chile win Copa América after beating Argentina on penalties – as it happened

Chile win Copa America for the first time in their history after a 4-1 victory on penalties over Argentina*Email tim.hill@theguardian.com or tweet @timmyhilleh*Follow England v Germany at the Women’s World Cup 7.19pm ET Well, we’re going to wrap the blog up now. Congratulations to Chile; commiserations to Lionel Messi and Argentina. Thanks so much for reading. Have a good night. 7.

George Osborne’s £13bn ‘northern powerhouse’ fund includes routine council spending on potholes

Embarrassment for government as it confirms only £5bn of announced £13bn funding is allocated for major road schemes and £3bn for railGeorge Osborne’s pledge to build a “northern powerhouse” has been condemned as “cynical pre-election spin” as it emerged that the £13bn committed to build it includes routine spending on potholes and maintenance for the A1, which comes out of London.In further

Peatlands burn as gamekeepers create landscape fit for grouse-shooting

Climate change experts say burning heather to increase bird yields is a threat to protected peat bogsThey are home to a diverse range of wildlife and up to 8,000 years old. And, according to a damning analysis by an independent government advisory body, the UK’s upland peat bogs are facing a sustained threat from the shooting classes’ desire to bag grouse.The Committee on Climate Change’s 20

Why we’re so confused about Amy Winehouse

A new movie about the singer has provoked hugely divergent reactionsThere’s an unfashionable bar I drink in on the edge of Soho – you can always find a table – and what makes it unfashionable isn’t so much the neon lighting, the scant bowls of crisps or the pink straws in the gin and tonic so much as the Amy Winehouse fan art covering the walls. Amy’s five-day-old mussed-up beehive, smudged Cle

Purple hair, dreadlocks, bad boys: who says Wimbledon has no characters left?

Though the all-white dress code may be restrictive, some competitors – Dustin Brown, Nick Kyrgios and Bethanie Mattek-Sands among them – are doing their level best to stand outIt is a perennial refrain: where are the characters in tennis? Who are this generation’s rabble-rousers, our Jimmy Connors, Ilie “Nasty” Nastase, and, the most indulged brat of all, John McEnroe? Where are the psychologic

Why Zac Goldsmith’s views on Heathrow and Europe are a problem for Cameron

The MP now tipped to be London’s mayor has long been the face of green Toryism . But his passionate opposition to a third runway could put him on a collision course with his partyShortly after he was elected leader of the Conservative Party in 2005, David Cameron appointed a wealthy fellow Old Etonian to a new policy group to look into ways to improve “quality of life” in Britain. Cameron was i

Beware powerful women intoxicated with their agendas | Catherine Bennett

When it comes to closed circles and influence, women can be as bad as men, as the Blair-Clinton emails show‘Confidential”. “My friend from Q”. “Our friend”. In emails newly released by the US State Department, Cherie Blair demonstrates to her old enemies in Whitehall how they erred by overlooking one of the most imaginative amateur diplomats since the old Etonian, James Lonsdale-Bryans, who f

The seven ages of family life: from shotgun weddings to silver splitters

It’s an institution that has undergone huge social change since the Victorian era – and now 90% of Britons say that they are happy with their own family. We chart the progress of a resilient, adaptive way of livingNo other institution can have had the last rites administered so often over the centuries and with such relish only to spring back to life, tweaked, transformed, reinvigorated; the de

Throwaway pup trend makes Britons dogs’ worst enemies

Fickle owners, poor training and battery farms threaten UK reputation as nation of dog loversBritain risks losing its standing as a nation of dog lovers thanks to a new and appalling trend in “throwaway” puppies, according to charities. TV vet, author and animal welfare campaigner Marc Abraham said impulse buying of dogs, fuelled by unscrupulous internet dealers and bad practices in puppy farmi

Escape from the vicarage as Agatha Christie brand gets TV makeover

David Walliams and Jessica Raine up the pace as writer’s estate takes charge of the scriptsForget Poirot’s “little grey cells” and the gently clicking knitting needles of Miss Marple, the future of Agatha Christie on television is action-packed and scary, complete with fistfights, chases, international espionage and realistic violence.The Christie estate has taken back control of TV rights a

Katy Perry, the archbishop and the nuns who won’t budge from their convent

The singer wants to buy their property, but even a personal audience with her did not sway the sistersIt was probably the first audition that Katy Perry had to do in a long time – an improvised performance in a former convent to a handful of elderly Catholic nuns who, all things considered, preferred Perry Como. It didn’t go well.“She pulls out her phone to get the words for Oh Happy Day,”

Is the future now looking brighter for beach towns?

An influx of holidaymakers and new residents is helping to turn the tide for seaside resortsA bucket and spade and the smell of the sea; a wobbly deckchair and the prospect of an ice cream; the hope of something other than weed being caught in a holed fishing net. All watched over by an aggressive seagull or two.There’s nothing quite like a day at the British seaside. Continue reading...

National memorial planned for British victims of overseas terrorism

Memorial to victims of the Tunisia attack, plus other atrocities, announced as country prepares to remember those killed in 7/7 London bombingsA memorial dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attack in Tunisia and a separate site of remembrance for all UK nationals who have been killed in terrorist atrocities overseas will be funded by the government, David Cameron has announced.The prim

Labour should be slaying dragons, not chasing trolls | Kevin McKenna

It’s no wonder Scottish Labour is becoming a spent force when it can waste its time, after electoral disembowelling, in compiling a useless cybernat blacklistIf we have indeed witnessed the end of the Labour party in Scotland as a meaningful force, its demise will soon be reduced to a single question in a modern studies exam paper: to what extent did it contribute to its own downfall? If its bi

Our Greek referendum offers catastrophe or absolute catastrophe. Some choice | Aggeliki Spanou

Whatever the result, the fraying of ties with our European allies will be difficult to mendSo we get to choose today. Some choice – between a catastrophe and an absolute catastrophe. But at least now we appear to be arriving at a conclusion, of sorts, in contrast to the recent Greek story that has moved from near climax to near climax. Whatever happens, a brutal realisation of national failur

We’d dig ourselves a deep hole if we took politics out of planning | Andrew Rawnsley

We may be slow as a country when it comes to major infrastructure projects. That’s the price of living in a democracyNew York in the 1920s was a mess. Let down by its venal politicians, the city’s transport was hopeless and its housing dreadful. Then along came a man with a plan. A grand plan. His name was Robert Moses. Armed with autocratic powers, and fuelled by a titanic megalomania, the urb

US rallies to stop British actors taking Hollywood movies by storm

Actors have always crossed the Atlantic seeking fame and fortune, but the recent slew of plum roles – mostly for men – has led to growing anger in the US film and TV industry. So why aren’t US drama schools producing the talent?The invasion of British and Irish leading men in Hollywood has now gone beyond a joke for many in the American entertainment industry. First noticed some time in 2011,

Germany v England: Women's World Cup third-place play-off – live! | Alan Smith

*Live updates from the bronze medal game | Kick-off 9pm BST*Email alan.smith@theguardian.com | Tweet @alansmith90 11.28pm BST 118 min: It has been quite noticeable throughout the tournament that England are so confident when defending a lead, a new-found belief instilled by Sampson. Two and a bit more minutes to go here … and you just cannot see Germany finding an equaliser. 11.25pm

Gilles Simon thrives in late show on Centre stage to beat Gaël Monfils

• Match played out under roof to the delight of ground pass holders• Simon to face Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych in next roundFans enjoyed a bonus late on Saturday night as the match between Gilles Simon and Gaël Monfils was moved from Court No1 to Centre Court under the roof in an effort to finish it before the 11pm curfew.Simon was leading by two sets to one but trailing 2-1 with a break

South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl takes two-shot lead at Open de France

• Van Zyl scores a flawless 64 with final round ahead• Germany’s Max Kieffer sits second, Austrian Bernd Wiesberger thirdAfter a bogey-strewn finish to his second round, South Africa’s Jaco van Zyl scored a brilliant 64 to claim a two-shot lead heading into the final round of the Open de France in Paris.Van Zyl fell victim to the daunting, water-dominated closing stretch at Le Golf National

Your pictures: share your photographs on the theme of 'note'

Wherever you are in the world, we’d like to see your pictures of ‘note.’ Share your best photos via GuardianWitness*Readers’ pictures on the theme of ‘arrow’We’re now running a regular weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review and the next theme is ‘note.’ So whether it’s a piece of music that you’re learning, a written reminder on your fridge or paying attention to somethin

Isis video shows killing of Syrian troops at Palmyra amphitheatre

Teenage boys appear to shoot dead 25 men at Unesco world heritage site, in footage linked to Islamic State accountsA video purportedly showing Islamic State militants shooting dead 25 men in the amphitheatre in the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria has been posted online.The footage apparently shows the murder of soldiers fighting for the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, who were captured

Tim Farron calls for UK to let in 60,000 migrants

Liberal Democrat leadership contender becomes first senior politician to back EU quota systemLiberal Democrat leadership candidate Tim Farron has called on Britain to welcome about 60,000 non-EU migrants into the country as part of a joint European response to the growing refugee crisis.Farron, who is fighting former health minister Norman Lamb for the right to succeed Nick Clegg, told the _

‘Show some respect’, Plácido Domingo urges directors after opera rape row

The great singer, whose Operalia competition comes to London next week, says stage productions need to stay close to composer’s intentionPlácido Domingo, one of the world’s greatest opera stars, has expressed sadness at an explicit rape scene staged at his beloved Royal Opera House last week. The Spanish singer, who famously performed with Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras as the Three Teno


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