The Guardian

Projecting emotions on animals is a sad mistake

And so, the killer whale known as J35 is back to her old self. She is no longer carrying the dead body of a calf she held aloft in the water for more than two weeks. Her so-called tour of grief has ended, to the relief of a global audience who had become wrapped up in this heart-wrenching animal drama. Great news, right? Sure. Yet I have a strange feeling in my stomach.

JULES HOWARD, Aug 15 2018

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More British troops are being sent to Afghanistan

Four hundred and forty British troops are about to leave for Afghanistan to help fight the Taliban. Could someone explain why? It is now four years since British troops “left” that country, after 13 long years and £40bn of fighting, culminating in defeat in Helmand. In 2014, Nato formally ended its retaliation for Afghanistan harbouring Osama bin Laden.

SIMON JENKINS, Aug 15 2018

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How the lesbian gaze changed cinema

Google “sexiest movie lesbian scenes” and you will find a lot of tawdry thrillers. Cruel Intentions, Wild Things, Basic Instinct … hot stuff, maybe, but not the most realistic or responsible depiction of what women actually do in bed together. Think two feminine women posing for the camera, tongues visible and hands brushing over breasts, only occasionally digits going lower (eg Bound).

ANNA SMITH, Aug 15 2018

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Festivals are evolving

Crowds are not fun. Claustrophobia is not fun. I want to go home, have a proper shower, and a poo.” In the forthcoming British film comedy The Festival (made by the team behind The Inbetweeners), the lead character, Nick, isn’t really enjoying his first big festival experience.

PAT KANE, Aug 15 2018

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The far right targets books

Just as we were preparing to close up our shop on Saturday evening, about a dozen men invaded Bookmarks bookshop in central London and started knocking over displays and shouting at staff. One was wearing a Donald Trump mask, others wore baseball caps saying Make Britain Great Again. One wore a union jack as a cape. They zeroed in on books about Islamophobia, and ripped up copies of an anti-racist magazine.

David Gilchrist, Aug 08 2018

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Transgender men can help the #MeToo movement

How does it feel to spend 36 years in the women’s camp only to transition to male at a time when women are finding courage in numbers, and the world is finally waking up to the brutality of one gender towards another? It’s certainly strange, but perhaps not for the reasons you might imagine.

Lee Hurley, Aug 08 2018

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Policing private citizens

Angela Williamson needed an abortion. The trouble was, she lived in Tasmania. Abortion is legal in the state, but the last abortion clinic closed in December. So, this February, Williamson was forced to travel to Melbourne for her operation. Distressed and angry, she dashed off a few tweets to express her fury.

KENAN MALIK, Aug 08 2018

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Destroying millions of jobs

The robots are coming, artificial intelligence is expanding, yet no one is doing enough to make sure workers benefit rather than losing out. According to a new survey, a quarter of the workforce think their job won’t be needed in future. Many of us expect the technological revolution to be as disruptive as the industrial revolution. This could bring amazing opportunities and emancipation, but also new forms of exploitation, deeper inequalities, injustices and anger.

YVETTE COOPER, Aug 08 2018

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The railways are a mess

Which question is best when something goes wrong? How to put it right, or who to blame? The first makes sense, but the second is more fun. That is why Chris Grayling, the hapless transport secretary, is being cursed by rail commuters from Brighton to Bedford to Blackpool. Today, yet another emergency timetable enters operation on Northern rail, announced with an inaugural cancellation on Preston station.

SIMON JENKINS, Aug 01 2018

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Zuckerberg and the monster he created

Who—or what—is Mark Zuckerberg? Obviously he’s the founder and CEO of Facebook, which is, in theory, a public company but is in fact his fiefdom, as a casual inspection of the company’s SEC filings confirms. They show that his ownership of the controlling shares means that he can do anything he likes, including selling the company against the wishes of all the other shareholders combined.

JOHN NAUGHTON, Aug 01 2018

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Imran Khan has won over Pakistan

It is now certain that Imran Khan will lead Pakistan’s next government. But how much power will he really wield, and what can Pakistan and the world expect? Khan’s victory speech struck a conciliatory note, a welcome surprise to many after a vicious election campaign. He pledged to improve relations with Pakistan’s neighbours, India and Afghanistan, to widen the country’s tax base, stamp out corruption and improve governance.


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Not about who wins, but how it’s won

Mugabe has gone. Things will never be the same again.” For pretty much the average life expectancy of many Zimbabweans, one man has ruled the country with an iron fist. Eight elections were held during his rule—and every time, that fist ensured victory for Robert Mugabe.

WILF MBANGA, Aug 01 2018

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The racist new law

I gave a speech at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in 2004 in which I spoke about the declaration of independence of the state of Israel. I called it “a source of inspiration to believe in ideals that transformed us from Jews to Israelis”.


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Stop fretting working mums

Women work--but should they?” It’s a tough one. I mean, it must be, considering how variations of the question endure. This generation asks it, as did the one before it, and the one before that. Did the first consciousness, alone out there in the universe, find itself wondering “… but what about the children”?

Phoebe-Jane Boyd, Jul 25 2018

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