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Saturday, March 7, 2015

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From a great height: readers' photos on the theme of 'drop'

For last week’s photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of ‘drop’ via GuardianWitness. Here’s a selection of our favourites



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Disabled fans short-changed at Premier League grounds despite riches pouring in

Swansea and Leicester are the only top-flight grounds that meet designated standards for disabled fan provision and though clubs such as Arsenal offer modern amenities too many others lag behind

At half-time during Arsenal’s 2-1 victory at Crystal Palace last month, on the raised concrete platform for disabled away supporters at Selhurst Park, Vinny Vyas, 21, pondered the question about what following Arsenal means to him. He has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which, after an active childhood, drained his muscle strength and left him confined to a wheelchair. He looked to his dad, Satish, who was feeding him a sandwich, and his cousin Akhil, also a Gooner, who had popped down from his seat to see him. Then he said: “Passion.”


Like the other disabled Arsenal supporters, and their carers alongside them, Satish praised the facilities for them at the Emirates stadium, but bemoaned the many frustrations and obstacles that persist at Premier League grounds, years after it became illegal to provide disabled people with an inferior service.


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Dementia campaign to give families open access wins cross-party support

Politicians commit to John’s Campaign to allow people 24-hour hospital access to vulnerable patients with dementia, following deluge of support

A campaign to allow friends and family open access to people with dementia while they are in hospital has seen a significant victory this weekend with backing from senior politicians. The Observer-backed campaign has won the support of health minister Norman Lamb, who has promised to write to all NHS trusts promoting the idea, while the shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has committed to strengthening the NHS constitution on the issue and including it in Labour’s election manifesto.


“I could have wept with gratitude and relief,” said novelist Nicci Gerrard, whose experiences with her father’s hospital care led her to launch John’s Campaign. It calls for the families and carers of people with dementia to be allowed to remain with them in hospital for as many hours of the day and night as necessary. The campaign has been deluged with support, not only from families but from doctors, nurses and charities working with people with dementia. Several NHS trusts have agreed to start implementing changes within their own hospitals and letting staff know what is expected of them.


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Cricket World Cup: five reasons it has gone wrong for England so far

England’s batsmen and bowlers appear to be playing a different game to their rivals but the malaise can be traced back to misplaced priorities over the years

England’s use of statistical analysis was a key component in their three Ashes victories under Andy Flower but there is a sense that it has weighed too heavily on their approach to batting in one-day cricket. Graeme Swann, who raised the issue last summer, claimed the team were too self-congratulatory when setting Sri Lanka 309 in Wellington, a score the captain Eoin Morgan later insisted was above par because “the stats back that up”. Only they know if a run rate of just under four an over between overs 10 and 35 was down to the computer’s printout or the struggle for form engulfing Gary Ballance and the captain himself. Either way, those sides who have regularly screamed past 300 have picked up at around two runs more an over during this period. Against Australia England buckled under the weight of a huge target – a theme in this World Cup – while New Zealand’s attack were simply too good in Wellington. As such, the totals against Scotland – 303 for eight – and Sri Lanka were greater disappointments when there were more runs in the pitch.


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Relatives touch MH17 wreckage

RELATIVES of those who died on flight MH17 have been able to see the what’s left of the plane, as investigators try to find out what brought it down.

















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Football facilities for disabled people: is the game doing enough? – video

Long-time Arsenal fan Anthony Joy has been attending football games as a disabled person up and down the country since 1987, while long-time Everton supporter Amy Wilson has done likewise since 1983. Here Anthony and Amy express some of their frustrations with the inconsistencies in how grounds facilitate for disabled people, and give their constructive criticism – as well as positivity – on the changes that have been made Continue reading...

















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Obama in Selma: Ferguson report shows civil rights 'march is not yet finished'


  • President delivers passionate speech on 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

  • One group in thousands at Edmund Pettus Bridge protests police shootings


Related: Barack Obama address on civil rights in Selma, Alabama – full text


Barack Obama delivered one of the most poignant speeches of his presidency on Saturday, using the backdrop of Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge to call for an end to the discrimination he said still casts “a long shadow” over America.


Related: Barack Obama speaks in Selma 50 years after 'Bloody Sunday' – in pictures


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Climate summit’s pledges on carbon cuts ‘won’t avert global disaster’

Government targets leave emission levels too high to prevent a big temperature rise, warns team of experts led by economist Nicholas Stern

Pledges at this year’s climate summit to cut carbon emissions are likely to fall far short of the targets needed to avoid heating the planet by more than 2C. That is the stark conclusion of a report by a team led by British economist Nicholas Stern.


The group, based at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics, concludes that action planned by countries – in particular the European Union, the US and China – will still leave the world emitting 10bn tonnes of carbon a year in excess of levels needed to prevent global warming from having devastating consequences.


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Jeremy Hunt accused of covering up critical NHS report

Health secretary has withheld damning management study by former M&S boss Stuart Rose for political reasons, claims Tory MP Sarah Wollaston

Health secretary Jeremy Hunt faces allegations of a politically motivated cover-up after the Tory head of the health select committee said his department’s refusal to publish a damning report on NHS management before the general election was not acceptable.


Sarah Wollaston, a former GP who took over the chairmanship of the committee last year, said it was not reasonable or right that a report by former Marks & Spencer boss and Tory peer Stuart Rose, which was commissioned by Hunt a year ago and completed in December, was being kept from the public.


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Palm oil firms in Peru plan to clear 23,000 hectares of primary forest

Four oil palm plantations connected to the same company are proposed for Peru’s northern Amazon


Companies in Peru are planning to clear more than 23,000 hectares of primary rainforest in the northern Amazon in order to cultivate oil palm, according to NGOs.


Operations on two plantations called Maniti and Santa Cecilia which would involve clearing more than 9,300 hectares of primary forest could start imminently following a recent government decision.


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NJ Woman Says Man Named "Gooch" Stole Her Car After OkCupid Date


At first, it went pretty well, as far as Internet dates with men named "Gooch" go. After meeting at Racks Restaurant and Sports Bar in Atco (sample review: "I guess its cool for Atco"), a New Jersey woman took OkCupid match Gennaro "Gooch" Aladena back to her home.


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Boko Haram Is Said to Pledge Allegiance to Islamic State

In an unconfirmed online message, the group, one of the deadliest terrorist organizations in Africa, appears to make a spiritually binding oath to follow the authority of ISIS.

















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Poverty is sexist: leading women sign up for global equality

Open letter from Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Sheryl Sandberg and 32 more calls for female empowerment in international drive to fight hunger and misery

Poverty, says a group of internationally famous and important women today, is sexist. Actors Meryl Streep and Rosamund Pike, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, arts director Jude Kelly, entertainers Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Angelique Kidjo and Sarah Silverman, financiers Ann Cairns and Mimi Alemayehou, along with politicians from Kenya, Germany and South Africa, have signed an open letter calling for women and girls to be put at the heart of international efforts to combat hunger and misery.


Claiming that “women get a raw deal”, the 35 signatories declared that unless women are put at the heart of change, there will be none. Empowering women, they said, is the key to fighting the world’s inequalities and poverty. Also signing were South African/American actor Charlize Theron, and US models-turned-activists Christy Turlington and Lauren Bush Lauren – of the Bush presidential family.


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Boko Haram joins forces with ISIS

NIGERIA’S militant group Boko Haram has reportedly pledged allegiance to Islamic State, and its self-declared caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria.

















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