The Guardian

31 May. 2023

State media say the projectile plunged into the sea, after briefly sparking emergency warnings in South Korea and Japan

North Korea’s first spy satellite launch has ended in failure after its second stage malfunctioned, sending the projectile plunging into the sea, the country’s state media has said, with the regime vowing to conduct another launch soon.

The launch sparked emergency warnings in Japan and the South Korean capital Seoul, where the city briefly issued an evacuation warning in error.

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30 May. 2023

Hundreds of tech leaders call for world to treat AI as danger on par with pandemics and nuclear war

A group of leading technology experts from across the world have warned that artificial intelligence technology should be considered a societal risk and prioritised in the same class as pandemics and nuclear wars.

The statement, signed by hundreds of executives and academics, was released by the Center for AI Safety on Tuesday amid growing concerns over regulation and risks the technology posed to humanity.

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30 May. 2023

Rare strike on Russian capital unnerves Muscovites who had been told conflict would not threaten them

Moscow has been targeted with a large-scale drone attack for the first time in its 15-month-old war in Ukraine, marking a new inflection point in the conflict, with the Kremlin threatening to take the “harshest possible measures” in response to the strikes.

Russia continues to pummel Ukraine with deadly missile and drone strikes on a near-daily basis. Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, faced its third air raid in 24 hours on Tuesday morning.

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30 May. 2023

Blood-testing firm’s fraud saga sees its end as 39-year-old tech founder reports to federal prison camp

The Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes has turned herself in for an 11-year prison sentence, marking a final chapter in a years-long fraud saga that riveted Silicon Valley.

The 39-year-old tech founder walked into the minimum-security, federal women’s prison camp located in Bryan, Texas, on Tuesday afternoon. Footage captured from outside the facilities shows that she was accompanied by an escort, was not handcuffed and wore a casual outfit. Holmes appeared in good spirits, smiling as she entered the building.

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30 May. 2023

House speaker says he isn’t worried the agreement will fail as prominent rightwinger Chip Roy calls it a ‘turd sandwich’

The Republican speaker of the US House, Kevin McCarthy, insisted on Tuesday that supporting the debt ceiling deal would be “easy” for his party and it was likely to pass through Congress despite one prominent rightwinger’s verdict that the proposed agreement is a “turd sandwich”.

Amid loud denunciations from the Republican right and also from closer to the centre, McCarthy said he was not worried the agreement would fail, or that it would threaten his hold on the speaker’s gavel.

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30 May. 2023

The incident is the latest in a season of heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing this year

A Chinese fighter pilot performed an “unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” near an American surveillance aircraft operating over the South China Sea last week, according to US military.

The incident – which the Pentagon says is part of a pattern of behavior by China – comes at a time of already heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing over issues including Taiwan and an alleged Chinese spy balloon that was shot down after traversing the United States earlier this year.

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30 May. 2023

Former Senate staffer who made claim in 2020 appears on Russian media alongside convicted Russian agent in US Maria Butina

Tara Reade, a former Senate staffer who in 2020 accused Joe Biden of sexual assault, said on Tuesday she had defected to Russia.

“I’m still kind of in a daze a bit but I feel very good,” Reade told Sputnik, a Russian press outlet supportive of President Vladimir Putin, while sitting with Maria Butina, a convicted Russian agent jailed in the US but now a member of parliament in Russia.

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30 May. 2023

Court reverses earlier decision by Governor Gavin Newsom not to free woman convicted of killings of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca

A California appeals court said on Tuesday that Leslie Van Houten, who participated in two killings at the direction of cult leader Charles Manson in 1969, should be let out of prison on parole.

The appellate court’s ruling reverses an earlier decision by Gavin Newsom, the state’s governor who rejected parole for Van Houten in 2020. She has been recommended for parole five times since 2016. All of those recommendations were rejected by Newsom or Jerry Brown, California’s former governor.

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30 May. 2023

Governor makes remark to Fox News and predicts two White House terms should he defeat Trump for Republican nomination

Predicting two terms in the White House should he defeat Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination next year, Ron DeSantis said he would go on to “destroy leftism in this country”.

“I will be able to destroy leftism in this country and leave woke ideology in the dustbin of history,” the Florida governor told Fox News.

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31 May. 2023
  • AFL great reflects on impact of Stolen Generations on his mother
  • ‘It just breaks my heart,’ says Sydney Swans premiership player

Sydney Swans great Adam Goodes says the only regret in his life is not being able to save his late mother from experiencing the trauma of the Stolen Generations. The 2014 Australian of the Year has opened up in a rare interview, having a wide-ranging chat with former England footballer Rio Ferdinand.

Goodes revealed his beloved mother, Lisa Sansbury, died of a heart attack in February 2022, aged 62. The dual Brownlow medallist regularly thinks about what his family’s life would be like had his mother not been exposed to systemic and horrific racism practices growing up.

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30 May. 2023

Putin accuses Kyiv of seeking to ‘frighten’ Russians after Moscow drone attack; EU official says import restrictions on Ukraine grain should be extended

Russian president, Vladimir Putin, accused Ukraine of seeking to “frighten” Russians after Moscow was targeted with a large-scale drone attack for the first time in the 15-month war. He said that Ukraine had chosen the path of attempting “to intimidate Russia, Russian citizens [with] attacks on residential buildings” and added that the drone attacks were “clearly a sign of terrorist activity.”

Ukrainian presidential aide, Mykhailo Podolyak, denied Ukraine was involved. However, he did he predict “an increase in the number of attacks”.

One of the drones used in Tuesday morning’s raid on Moscow appears to have been a Ukrainian manufactured UJ 22 drone produced by the Ukrjet company. Alleged footage of the drone, captured in flight during the attack, appears to match released images of the unmanned aerial vehicle which Russia has claimed has been used in other attempted attacks.

James Cleverly, the UK’s foreign secretary, told reporters that Ukraine has the “legitimate right” to defend itself and can “project force” beyond its borders. At a news conference in Estonia on Tuesday, Cleverly said: “[Ukraine] has the right to project force beyond its borders to undermine Russia’s ability to project force into Ukraine itself.”

The Russian defence ministry said eight drones targeted the city overnight but Russian media close to the security services wrote that the number was many times higher, with more than 30 drones participating in the attack.

Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, faced its third air raid in 24 hours on Tuesday morning. Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, confirmed that 20 residents were evacuated from a damaged building. One person died and four were injured in the strike.

Restrictions on grain imports from Ukraine into the EU would need to be extended, the bloc’s agricultural minister said on Tuesday, despite opposition from Kyiv. The restrictions were implemented after complaints from eastern EU countries that a surplus of Ukrainian grain was driving down local prices and affecting local farmers.

Ukraine wants to begin work to make its Danube shipping canal deeper as early as this year, to expand its alternative routes to export grain, deputy minister of renovation and infrastructure, Yuriy Vaskov, said on Tuesday. The push for alternative export routes has taken on urgency during the war, after Russia blocked Ukraine’s traditional export routes via the Black Sea.

Sweden’s accession into Nato is “within reach”, secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday. Sweden formally applied to join Nato last year, but was blocked by Turkey over claims that Kurdish militants had settled in the country. Stoltenberg said it was “possible to reach a solution and enable the decision on full membership for Sweden by “ the Nato summit in July.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine committed to respect the five principles laid out by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to try to safeguard Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The principles included that there should be no attacks on, or from the plant and that no heavy weapons should be housed there. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi said he was encouraged that the principles were “widely supported and there was no voice opposing them.” The Russian and Ukrainian envoys at the United Nations blamed each other’s countries for the crisis at Zaporizhzhia, but did not reject outright the principles put forward by the IAEA.

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30 May. 2023

Olga Guruli was heading to occupied Kherson province to arrange repatriation of boy and his brother

A Ukrainian woman who travelled to Russia hoping to arrange the repatriation of her godson and his brother from Russian-occupied Kherson province was arrested, interrogated for two days and threatened with being sent to a penal colony before being deported to Belarus.

The detention of Olga Guruli was initially reported by Russian media outlets who wrongly suggested she was an employee of Save Ukraine, an NGO that has been helping relatives recover children illegally deported by Russia.

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30 May. 2023

Latest attacks on Russian capital may be tactic by Kyiv to bring invasion closer to wealthy Muscovites

The drone attacks targeting Moscow early on Tuesday, which have been blamed on Kyiv, were by far the largest wave launched against Russia since the start of its war against Ukraine. What’s going on?

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30 May. 2023

Drone attack and explosions in Moscow region seen as ‘logical next step’ by some as Ukraine retaliates

Residents of the wealthy Rublyovka neighbourhood are used to a bit of noise. Home to sprawling gated villas of Russia’s political and business elites, including Vladimir Putin, the forested area west of Moscow is known for extravagant late-night parties and lavish fireworks displays.

But on Tuesday morning they were disturbed by something louder – the sound of drones exploding in the air.

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30 May. 2023

This impossibly hilarious Netflix sketch show’s third season is incredible. It’s so impossibly funny that the antics of the Roy family are no longer even this week’s best television

When I Think You Should Leave debuted in 2019, it hit like a lightning bolt. Unless you came to it pre-armed with a working knowledge of minor, short-lived stars of Saturday Night Live from a decade ago, the arrival of Tim Robinson felt like the very best sort of surprise.

As the co-creator and lead actor of the series, Robinson’s comedy exploded at you from a million different angles. He’d made a sketch show, but one that deliberately avoided the genre’s traditional premise-escalation-conclusion structure in favour of freeform absurdism. From the second sketch – a compensation lawyer infomercial for a specific plumbing incident that leaves Robinson in pulsating fits of uncomprehending rage – it became clear that I Think You Should Leave was going to deal with a number of unfamiliar patterns.

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30 May. 2023

People used to be grateful for our efforts to keep them safe. Now they accuse us of ‘sitting around staring at the water’

I became a lifeguard at a holiday park nine years ago. At first, the responsibility was scary, but over time my confidence grew. It definitely comes with challenges, especially when you see people doing silly and dangerous things. I always joke that when people go on holiday, they leave their brains at home.

Before the pandemic, there was more respect and gratitude for our services. On one occasion, I saw a woman fall and injure her spine, so I held her head still for hours until the ambulance arrived. People were putting suncream on my back and helping me to sip water because I couldn’t move. She made a full recovery and her family came to thank me the next day.

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30 May. 2023

Actors and directors all have their own ways of finding closure once a production ends. Some are much more brutal than others

Like most Succession fans, you probably commemorated the show’s finale by blankly staring into the void for several hours after the credits rolled, traumatised beyond words by the bleak brutality of its climax. And, honestly, nobody could blame you.

Luckily, a salve for this torrent of psychic agony quickly appeared on social media. First, it was revealed that the final scene shot for the show was the one in the kitchen in Barbados, where the Roy siblings got to experience their last moment of fleeting happiness. And second, someone took a video of what happened as soon as the cameras stopped rolling. In the video, Jeremy Strong immediately starts shaving his head, to shed himself of Kendall Roy’s overwhelming emotional heaviness, while Kieran Culkin did the most Roman Roy thing imaginable and slapped a raw egg across Strong’s newly bald scalp.

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30 May. 2023

It may have an absolutely star-packed cast, but this meandering political farce will rapidly lose your interest – unless you’re an aficionado of US political scandals from the 70s

White House Plumbers is an A-list, star-stuffed, prestige retelling of the Watergate scandal, which might sound familiar to viewers of last year’s Gaslit, another A-list, star-stuffed, prestige retelling of the Watergate scandal. Even with Julia Roberts as its star, Gaslit got lost in the avalanche of great television that continues to arrive, and White House Plumbers may share the same fate. Here, the mood is more satirical, and it veers into slapstick, although it tries to balance that with a strand of serious family and personal drama. It has a slick elegance to it, but it never quite feels as if it pulls the many elements together successfully.

The Veep showrunner David Mandel directs, which should give some idea of the acerbic tone it aims for. The obligatory “based on a true story” note that opens the show cheekily points out that “no names have been changed to protect the innocent, because nearly everyone was found guilty”. Over five episodes, it follows the inept misadventures (and that’s putting it lightly, although, surprisingly, the series does occasionally allow space for an interpretation of the pair as quirky goofs) of the Nixon operatives E Howard Hunt and G Gordon Liddy.

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30 May. 2023

Amid housing crisis, post-Brexit drag and hardline migration rhetoric, most 25- to 40-year-olds think party deserves to lose next election

“I do think it is pretty obvious really.” After new research suggested millennials believe the Conservatives deserve to lose the next election, former Tory cabinet minister David Willetts says the answer lies with the economy.

Polling for thinktank Onward, whose director, Sebastian Payne, hopes to become a Conservative MP, found that 62% of 25 to 40-year-olds believe the party deserves to lose the next election.

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30 May. 2023

Host director Rob Savage makes the most of a ho-hum short story from the horror master

The creative constraints of the early Covid era, forcing writers and directors to maximise the minimalism of remote production, led to an inevitable and seemingly inexorable dip in quality. Stories were told on laptops or phones or both at a time when most of us wanted to escape the exhaustion of life lived on a screen, not embrace it, the overwhelming majority offering nothing more than a depressing reminder of how incredibly small our world had suddenly become.

But fresh young British director Rob Savage, using the same base tools as his far more experienced peers, found a way to turn our eyerolls into wide-eyed admiration with his ingeniously effective horror Host. Based entirely on Zoom, it told the story of group of friends who decide to do a guided seance online, and while not a single viewer will be surprised about how this turns out to be a very, very bad idea, the ways in which it descends into chaos do prove at times genuinely unexpected. It was an imperfect film but a perfect calling card, showing how much Savage can do with so little. While his rushed follow-up Dashcam was a total, at times embarrassing, bust – messy and saddled with a wildly grating lead – his closely followed Hollywood debut still arrives with more expectation than most studio horrors despite the conventional packaging.

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30 May. 2023

Does it help to break down the physical appearances of men and women into animal-based categories? Probably not. But that won’t stop it being hotly debated on social media

Name: Animal dating types.

Age: About a month old.

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30 May. 2023

Bittersweet tales of a deluded butler, Arthurian fables and the view from AI – if you’re not familiar with the garlanded author’s work, here are some good entry points

The Japanese-born British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is one of the most critically acclaimed authors writing in English today: the now 68-year-old was twice selected in the Granta Best of Young British Novelists issue, in 1983 and 1993, before going on to bag the Booker prize, the Nobel prize in literature and a knighthood. Earlier this year, he picked up Bafta and Oscar nominations too, for his adapted screenplay of Living, starring Bill Nighy. David Sexton suggests some good places to start for those who haven’t yet dipped in to his work.

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30 May. 2023

Sweden’s pandemic postmortem is done and dusted, yet ours seems headed for the courts before it has even begun

British politics has become a medieval battlefield across which the victors wander, seeking the twitching remains of Boris Johnson to harass and hack. The latest spat is over how much to reveal of his Downing Street behaviour during Covid. Lady Hallett, chair of the Covid inquiry, wants the unredacted WhatsApp messages between Johnson and 40 senior colleagues, along with unredacted diaries and 24 notebooks.

Hallett thinks all material is potentially relevant for investigating, say, “the degree of attention given to the emergence of Covid-19 in early 2020 by the then prime minister”. The Cabinet Office strongly disagrees, citing privacy and disputing the relevance of much of the material. The eager Liberal Democrats claim that being kept in the dark is “yet another insult to bereaved families waiting for justice”.

Simon Jenkins is a Guardian columnist

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30 May. 2023

Never mind that the DWP itself found that some disabled people can’t afford food or heating, politicians and the media need scapegoats

Few things are ever really new. British politics – and the media ecosystem that maintains it – effectively regurgitates the same talking points on repeat, a kind of Groundhog Day where the key players may appear different but familiar destructive patterns are ever-present.

It is exactly a decade since former chancellor George Osborne launched cuts to the benefits system totalling tens of billions of pounds, and with them, fuelled rhetoric so toxic that it caused an increase in hate crime towards disabled people. This was the era of Benefits Street and the Sun’s Beat the Cheat campaign, where it was quite normal for a national newspaper to invite readers to report their disabled neighbours to the benefit fraud hotline.

Frances Ryan is a Guardian columnist

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30 May. 2023

Swift’s legion of fans may not approve of her rumoured new boyfriend, but she deserves to have a life of her own

Taylor Swift writes about new love like it’s a daydream: many of her best songs express the feeling with contented sighs and evocations of fairytale enchantment. But for a small and vocal subsection of her fanbase, news of the singer’s rumoured real-life relationship with a fellow musician has been nothing short of a nightmare.

Since it was alleged that Swift is seeing Matty Healy, the frontman of the pop band The 1975, these fans have been up in arms, cancelling orders of Swift’s forthcoming album, posting lengthy reflections on Twitter justifying their attendance (or lack thereof) at Swift’s current tour, and launching a campaign – #SpeakUpNow – implicitly demanding that Swift break up with Healy. (Swift has not publicly acknowledged the relationship, but Healy has been seen at her concerts and the pair have been photographed together multiple times in recent weeks.)

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