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Horn trimming rhinos in South Africa – in pictures

Rhino farmers in South Africa dehorn their rhinos to discourage poaching and protect the endangered species, but breeding and dehorning rhinos also creates a potential cash crop. It drives an debate about animal welfare and whether an ethical solution has been found for a controversial demand. Photographer Leon Neal spent time on the ranch of rhino breeder John Hume Continue reading...

submit in news via The Guardian at 2017-10-21

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A letter to … my stepfather, who finally showed me what it meant to have a dad

The letter you always wanted to write I was seven when you appeared in my life. I didn’t like you at first – it felt as if you were taking my mum away from me. I thought if I was cold and distant with you, you would lose interest in me and give up. Luckily, you didn’t. You made numerous efforts trying to bond with me – taking me to see the Lion King, taking us on holiday to France and teaching me simple things, such as how to play catch. I saw very little of my dad, so until you came along I never really had a constant male presence. I had been raised by my mother, grandmother and older sister. I was constantly surrounded by strong and independent women. It didn’t seem unusual to see my dad only once or twice a month even though we lived in the same city. I didn’t know any better. When you arrived, I didn’t really know what kind of bond we would have. I thought to myself, “I already have a dad, I don’t want a new one.” Continue reading...

submit in news via The Guardian at 2017-10-21

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Liz Lawler: ‘I am one of 14 children so there was never room to hold us all’

With siblings in their 40s and their 70s, my life has been shaped by being a member of a large, happy crowd I have always felt a bit of a fraud when I say I am one of 14 – even though it is true – because two of my siblings died before I was born: a sister named Peggy, aged four, and a brother named Stella, a stillbirth, at full term. My mother said he was a good 9lb and came out with the cord wrapped round his neck. Not to mention them would be to deny their existence and dishonour my parents. They are the memories of my older siblings and, although we are now 12, I am one of 14. Some of my older siblings are now in their 70s, while the baby of the family is in his 40s. With the age gap, it has always felt like a family of two halves divided not only by age, but also by country of birth: the older ones were born in Dublin, and the “English kids” – my three younger siblings and I, born in England. Language was another divider. The Irish children called my parents Ma and Da and we English kids, with our English accents, called them Mum and Dad. Yet united we are, not only by blood, but also by a willingness to keep the fold together. Continue reading...

submit in news via The Guardian at 2017-10-21

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Miguel: On his 'crazy' ego, beefing with Frank Ocean and Trump sex jams

After the ‘disappointment’ of his last album, Miguel wants to be the biggest pop star ever. But will he get there by covering Pussy Riot songs? Related: Miguel: ‘I wasn’t drinking, I wasn’t smoking, I wasn’t having sex. I was a really late bloomer’ Miguel is currently stripped off, right down to his pants. I’m aware there are people who would pay good money to be in the position I’m in right now, although I should point out that there’s nothing overly sexy about the scene. “Almost there!” calls out the diminutive R&B star when I interrupt what appears to be a frantic wardrobe session. Our photographer has been waiting almost an hour at this point, but getting the outfit right is important business for Miguel. He turned up wearing a baggy white jumper, after all, and so an epic transformation is clearly in the works. Continue reading...

submit in news via The Guardian at 2017-10-21

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How this 1967 Vietnam war protest carried the seeds of American division

The marchers who converged on the Pentagon 50 years ago placed flowers in soldiers’ guns but also opened up a cultural faultline that persists to this day They were in the belly of the beast. Marching on the Pentagon, control centre of the world’s most powerful fighting force, protesters against the Vietnam war were confronted by military police (MPs) with rifles pointed directly at their heads. Among the demonstrators was a long-haired man with a bulky sweater – and a bunch of flowers. “All of a sudden, this hero put a flower in the barrel of the rifle pointed at his head, and everyone was disarmed on both sides,” participant Bill Zimmerman recalled. “The MPs had a ‘what the fuck is this?’ expression. Then I realised what he was doing and thought it was brilliant. He worked his way down the line and I saw him put seven, eight, maybe 10 flowers in rifle barrels. The crowd surged and I couldn’t see him any more.” Continue reading...

submit in news via The Guardian at 2017-10-21

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I usually disparage the royals, but Meghan Markle has changed that

Prince Harry’s partner is initiating real change in UK race relations. It was exciting to hear the royal family defend this mixed-race relationship I have never been much of a royalist. As a child, I was more interested in becoming an author or a pop star than a princess or duchess. But I’m 100% here for Meghan Markle and her potential shakeup of Buckingham Palace. If the rumours of her forthcoming engagement to Prince Harry turn out to be true, it will redefine royalty for a new generation of Brits, because not only is Meghan an accomplished American actress and a philanthropist who is shunning many traditional royal dating protocols, but she is also a black, mixed-race woman. A union between her and Prince Harry would be socially momentous for the country, and especially so for us brown-skinned Brits who never saw ourselves reflected in the all-white Palace lineage. This week, it was announced that Meghan had quit her role in the TV show Suits in an apparent bid to prepare her for the royal wedding. And last month she spoke candidly about being in love in an interview with Vanity Fair. Continue reading...

submit in news via The Guardian at 2017-10-21

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Pick-up fees for airport passengers rise at eight out of 20 top UK airports

Some increased charges as much as 100% in a year while others introduced new fees, with London Luton the most expensive at £7 for 40 minutes, said RAC Some of the UK’s busiest airports have sharply increased parking charges for drivers collecting passengers, a study has found. Related: Flight delays and cancellations: your rights explained Continue reading...

submit in business via Economy | The Guardian at 2017-10-21

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Savings interest rates: shop around to beat inflation

Savers should seek out the best rates to mitigate rising prices – it will make a big difference to their pockets Savings interest rates have been steadily rising in recent months, and while account holders will struggle to beat inflation (which rose this week to 3%) experts claim individuals can, at least, mitigate its effects by shopping around. Figures from Savings Champion show that the average easy-access rate is paying 0.42%, compared to 1.30% at top-paying account, the RCI Bank Freedom Account. On a balance of £10,000 that can mean a difference of earning £42 gross interest a year or £130, it says. Continue reading...

submit in business via Economy | The Guardian at 2017-10-21