Hot News on 17/08/2022

Advanced analysis of fragments of information enabled Scotland Yard to identify three jihadis who held and tortured captives

Freed hostages were able to give British police vital information that identified three of the Islamic State kidnap gang that had held and tortured them in Syria, it has been revealed.

Scotland Yard has disclosed the breakthroughs that allowed it to identify three of the jihadis known as “the Beatles” and bring two of them to trial in the US. The hostages’ information helped police identify the men on a march with a group linked to the radical group al-Muhajiroun, together with the use of voice recognition software.

From Teesside to Plymouth, these ‘special economic zones’ are shrouded in secrecy – and exist solely to benefit big business

Democracy is the problem that capital is always striving to solve. To maintain its rates of profit, it seeks to drive down the taxes it must pay and annul the regulations that defend the living world, workers and consumers. This tends to be unpopular. Governments that permit beautiful places to be trashed, workers’ lives to be endangered and consumers to be conned might find themselves voted out of office. So fixes need to be found.

Political funding often does the job: research from the US shows how, generally, the party that attracts the most money wins. Distraction works pretty well, especially when it takes the form of culture wars. The billionaire press does a sterling job at misrepresenting our choices – to favour the very rich. But you can never be too careful. It’s safer, if possible, to bypass democracy altogether.

George Monbiot is a Guardian columnist

PEN America says ‘educational gag orders’ have increased 250% since 2021 with focus on race and LGBTQ issues

Republicans have mounted an “attack on education” in 2022, according to a report, as lawmakers have introduced a soaring number of bills aimed at limiting classroom discussion of race and LGBTQ issues.

The number of “educational gag orders” introduced has increased by 250% compared with 2021, according to PEN America, a non-profit organization that works to protect freedom of expression in the US, as Republican legislators have sought to censor discussion of race and LGBTQ issues from the classroom.

Former health secretary says context of Truss’s comments on British workers needing ‘more graft’ unclear

The former health secretary Sajid Javid has distanced himself from comments made by Liz Truss in a leaked recording, in which she said British workers needed “more graft” and implied they lacked the skills of foreign workers.

When asked about the comments on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Javid said he did not know the context in which the comments were made, but he thought British workers were the most hardworking in the world.

The peatlands of Scotland’s Flow Country store 400m tonnes of carbon but are under threat amid warmer summers

Boglands are precious landscapes, and the vast wilderness of bogs of the Flow Country in northern Scotland is considered the world’s largest area of blanket bog – a rare type of peatland that covers the landscape like a blanket and which forms in a cool, wet climate.

The peat is created largely from sphagnum moss and when the plant dies its remains do not fully decompose in the bog’s acid waters, and so the dead moss becomes buried and turned into peat along with its carbon contents. The Flow Country is so vast its peatland stores 400m tonnes of carbon, more than double the carbon stored in all the UK’s woodlands, and a huge contribution to fighting the climate crisis.

$34.5bn railway – labelled the biggest public transport project in state’s history – set to feature heavily in election campaign

The suburban rail loop is set to become one of the big talking points of the Victorian state election campaign after the opposition leader, Matthew Guy, said he would shelve stage one in favour of spending on health.

Here’s everything you need to know about the project.

Sign up to receive an email with the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning

From low-fat milk to ice-cream and clothing to recreation, how costs have soared

Inflation last month bust the double-digit barrier to hit 10.1%, the latest figures show. The Office for National Statistics uses the consumer prices index to measure the rising cost of living and also compiles the increasing prices of individual goods and services.

Here is a breakdown showing how a range of everyday items have shot up over the past year. In each case, the figure is the percentage change in the average price over the 12 months to July 2022, and on many occasions the rate has risen to an even higher level than in June.

Clandestine resistance cells are spotting targets, sabotaging rail lines and killing those deemed collaborators as they seek to terrorize Russian forces.

Research on more than 20 apps found that the majority collected large amounts of personal data and shared it with third parties

After the fall of federal abortion protections in the US, pressure has mounted on apps that collect pregnancy-related data to preserve people’s privacy. A new study has found many of them do not hold up to scrutiny.

Experts at internet research non-profit Mozilla studied more than 20 pregnancy and period tracking apps for privacy and security features and said the results were grim.

Key Zelenskiy adviser says counteroffensive will aim to create ‘chaos within Russian forces’; Ukraine hints it was behind a series of recent strikes in occupied Crimea

There could be more attacks in the “next two or three months” similar to the strikes in Crimea, a key adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in an exclusive interview with the Guardian. Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine is engaged in a counteroffensive aimed at creating “chaos within Russian forces” by striking at the invaders’ supply lines deep into occupied territories.

Ukraine has hinted it was behind a series of mysterious and devastating strikes in occupied Crimea that destroyed a key railway junction used for supplying Russian troops and a military airbase. Several explosions on Tuesday appeared to have destroyed a Russian ammunition depot and an electricity substation about 125 miles (200km) from the frontline with Ukrainian forces. Russia blamed saboteurs for orchestrating the series of explosions.

The leaders of Ukraine, Turkey and the UN are set to meet to review the grain export deal in Lviv on Thursday. UN secretary general António Guterres, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will also discuss “the need for a political solution to this conflict” and the situation at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

Ukraine’s nuclear operator reported what it called an “unprecedented” cyberattack on its website, but said its operations have not been disrupted. “On August 16, 2022, the most powerful cyberattack since the start of the Russian invasion occurred against Energoatom’s website,” the operator said, adding it “was attacked from Russian territory”.

North Korea and the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk region of Ukraine will develop “equally beneficial bilateral cooperation”, Denis Pushilin, head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, said in a letter to Kim Jong-un, North Korean state media reported on Wednesday.

The first ship to depart Ukraine under a grain export deal docked in Syria on Tuesday, according to a shipping source and satellite data. Another ship carrying the first cargo of food aid bound for Africa also left Ukraine’s ports.

Russia’s defence ministry has warned Britain against a planned spy plane flight over Russian territory, saying its air force has been given orders to prevent an intrusion. The ministry said the UK sent a notice informing about a planned flight of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane along a route that partly passes over Russian territory. “We regard this action as a deliberate provocation,” the ministry said.

Estonian authorities removed a Soviet-era tank from its pedestal in the eastern city of Narva, the most significant removal yet out of an estimated 200 to 400 such monuments that the government has pledged to take down by the end of the year. “No one wants to see our militant and hostile neighbour foment tensions in our home,” prime minister, Kaja Kallas, said on Tuesday. Estonia will also this week close its border to more than 50,000 Russians with previously issued visas.

Finland announced it will cut the number of visas it issues to Russians to 10% of current volumes from 1 September after Russian tourists begun using the country as a gateway to European holiday destinations. Finland will also join the Baltic states in jointly proposing the discontinuation of an EU visa facilitation agreement with Russia that makes it easier and cheaper for Russians to travel to and within the EU, foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, said.

First of three 30 metre-long underwater drones capable of carrying weapons and diving up to 6,000 metres will be ready in a year

Three robotic submarines will be built on Sydney Harbour within three years to help “mitigate” a looming capability gap, military technology company Anduril’s Palmer Luckey has said during a visit to Australia.

The Anduril chief executive officer said the first 30 metre-long underwater drone would be ready within a year and would act as a deterrent to Chinese aggression.

Sign up to receive an email with the top stories from Guardian Australia every morning

Company to use factors such as reviews and length of trip to judge bookings, after Australia pilot

Airbnb says it will deploy “anti-party technology” in an effort to crack down on guests who book houses only to trash them with massive bashes, the company has announced.

The technology, which has been trialled in Australia, will look at “factors like history of positive reviews (or lack of positive reviews), length of time the guest has been on Airbnb, length of the trip, distance to the listing, weekend vs weekday, among many others” to determine whether a particular booking is likely to be intended for hosting a party, the company said. It will initially be used in the US and Canada, and will continue operating in Australia.

Footballer admits he regularly turned up unannounced at Kate Greville’s home and workplace when pair fell out

Ryan Giggs has admitted in court to playing with his ex-girlfriend’s emotions and threatening to “stalk you like mad” after she blocked his messages as their relationship disintegrated.

The former Manchester United and Wales footballer told a court he would turn up unannounced at Kate Greville’s home, workplace and gym when she tried to split up with him.

Aran Chada is believed to have experienced sudden illness after jumping into Lake Garda in July

The body of a British man who drowned after diving into Lake Garda in Italy to save his son has been found.

Aran Chada, 51, is believed to have experienced a sudden illness after jumping from a boat into the northern Italian lake when his 14-year-old son got into difficulty in the water.

Yvette Cooper says the frontrunner’s remarks are ‘out of touch’, as Sunak and Truss prepare for Belfast hustings

British workers “are amongst the hardest-working in the world”, Conservative former cabinet minister Sajid Javid said.

Asked about Tory leadership contender Liz Truss’s claim that British workers need to produce “more graft”, he told Sky News:

That comment, as I understand it, was made a number of years ago; I don’t know the exact context that was made in.

What I also heard her say, just in that snippet that you played there, was that the productivity in the UK versus other comparable countries is generally lower and that’s been a longstanding UK problem and that doesn’t happen because British workers don’t work hard; British workers are amongst the hardest-working in the world.

I think what she’s talking about is business and investment, because to increase productivity the government of course has a huge role to play – there’s capital investment, things like infrastructure investment, for example, those areas that get more of it generally of course can do better in terms of productivity.

It’s also about skills investment and making sure that we’re investing in skills across the country, not just in the capital or the south-east but right across the country, and that is what’s going to make the difference, and Liz has a plan for that.

I think it reveals what she really thinks. This comes after the proposal she put forward to cut public sector pay in the north and other parts of the country.

So teaching assistants or nurses here in Yorkshire would get paid less than people in London or the south-east.

(She) has absolutely no idea that people are working incredibly hard – people who are getting up to go to their shifts right now, watching your programme just before they go to work, working incredibly hard to try and make ends meet, who are facing these nightmare inflation figures, the soaring energy bills and doing their best to keep everything together.

This insult just shows, I think, that [Truss] does not understand working people right across the country. It’s deeply wrong of her to say this.

Human rights organisations say figures are evidence of symptomatic biases and overzealous policing

Black and Asian people were more likely than white people to be given fines for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules, police figures for England and Wales suggest.

Human rights organisation Liberty said the figures, which showed black people were more than twice as likely to be fined than people from white backgrounds, were evidence of the government prioritising criminalisation over public health and of bias within police forces.

After Covid disparities sent people across borders in search of vaccines, the European Union tried to create a level playing field. But it’s still far from complete.

Plus: more record runners-up streaks, more longstanding record signings and making most appearances for dad’s team

“In Iceland there are a couple of football clubs named after the Norse god Thor, and another after his son Magni,” writes Kári Tulinius. “Hertha Berlin were named after a ship, but that ship was named for an old Germanic goddess. Are there other clubs named after mythological gods or goddesses?”

We touched on this back in 2011, in a question about teams named after fictional characters:

The Dutch side Heracles Almelo, Greek club Iraklis of Salonica and recently-relegated Spanish minnows Hércules Alicante are all named after the demi-god son of the father of gods and men, Zeus.

ONS July figure shows further increase from 9.4% in June – and is at highest level since 1982

UK inflation has risen to 10.1%, adding to pressure on households amid the cost of living crisis.

The figures from the Office for National Statistics showed a further increase in July from 9.4% in June, as measured by the consumer prices index (CPI). The figure was last higher in February 1982.

Record numbers of Britons have left the workforce since the pandemic – but could the rising cost of living bring them back?

Record numbers of people aged 50 and over in the UK have become economicially inactive since the start of the pandemic, the Office for National Statistics said this spring, with the majority (77%) of adults aged 50 to 59 saying they left their previous job sooner than expected.

Guardian readers who responded to a callout described their reasons for leaving the workforce in their 50s – some permanently, some for the time being – with many saying the pandemic had played a role in their decision.

Forests in Russia are most affected, as scientists warn of escape of huge quantities of buried carbon dioxide

The boreal forests in the far northern latitudes have suffered more tree cover loss owing to fire in the last decade than any other place on Earth, with Russia losing more trees to fire than any other country, data has shown.

The boreal region is a huge stretch of coniferous forests that encircles the northern hemisphere taking in parts of Scandinavia, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Alaska and Canada, among other countries.

Ladbrokes and Coral owner at risk of losing licence to operate in UK over ‘completely unacceptable’ incidents

Entain, the gambling firm behind Ladbrokes and Coral, could lose its licence to operate in the UK after it was told to pay a record £17m settlement over its inaction as individual customers spent hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Gambling Commission highlighted a series of failings in Entain’s online and high street business, all of which took place after the government announced a review of gambling laws that has seen the industry promise to improve controls to tackle addiction and prevent money laundering.

I was working on a boat on the Great Barrier Reef, when two crewmates began a 20-minute dive. Hours later, with rescue helicopters circling, there was still no sign of them

Twenty years ago, I took six months out from my NHS job as a psychologist to embark on a round-the-world trip. But, when I fell in love with scuba diving and took a job as a cook on a dive boat on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, I called my boss in England to tell her I wouldn’t be coming back.

After two days based at the diving school, the students would board a boat for a three-day trip. It was me they came to with their worries: Are there sharks on the reef?”; “Are they dangerous?”; “Is it pitch black on a night dive?I was the cook, but my psychology skills were put to good use.

Former PM says the powers he assumed could have been ‘misinterpreted and misunderstood’ and caused unnecessary angst if made public

Scott Morrison says he will not resign from federal parliament after his five secret ministry self-appointments were revealed, defending his decision to keep those ministries concealed because he says he never exercised the powers he had.

Morrison, at a press conference in Sydney on Wednesday afternoon, struck a defiant tone and said he would remain as the member for Cook, despite growing calls from even some inside his own party for him to quit.

Insect’s mating call is a familiar sound of summer in region but experts say climate may force a relocation

The noise of church bells, ducks, geese, cockerels and even frogs has been the source of many a complaint – and even legal action – from visitors and newly arrived city dwellers in the French countryside.

Few will forget Maurice the crowing cockerel, who landed his owner in court in a case that ruffled feathers across France and symbolised the town and country divide.

Unique footage from US Navy sea mammals captures bursts of sonar clicks and victory squeals after grabbing meal

Video cameras attached to mine-hunting US Navy dolphins have filmed them hunting and eating fish and, to the scientists’ surprise, swallowing venomous yellow-bellied sea snakes.

It is the first time video and sound has captured bottlenose dolphins feeding on live fish, from the bursts of sonar clicks used to pinpoint the prey to the victory squeals after grabbing a meal.

Former Manchester United player insists he and Kate Greville ‘clashed heads’ by accident

Ryan Giggs has told a court he was “confused and scared” after being accused of head-butting his girlfriend during a “tug of war” over a mobile phone.

The former Manchester United and Wales footballer insisted he did not deliberately head-butt Kate Greville and that they accidentally “clashed heads”.

More than 500 firefighters deployed to haul in dead fish, using dams, boats, quad bikes and even a drone

Polish firefighters have recovered 100 tonnes of dead fish from the Oder river running through Germany and Poland, deepening concerns of an environmental disaster for which no cause has yet been identified.

“We’d never had an operation of this scope on a river before,” said Monika Nowakowska-Drynda from the national firefighter press office on Tuesday.

António Guterres to talk with leaders of Ukraine and Turkey about grain export deal, Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and a ‘political solution’ to conflict

Hello and welcome back to the Guardian’s live coverage of the war in Ukraine.

I’m Samantha Lock and I will be bringing you all the latest developments for the next short while. Whether you’ve been following our coverage overnight or you’ve just dropped in, here are the latest lines.

Ukraine has hinted it was behind a series of mysterious and devastating strikes in occupied Crimea that destroyed a key railway junction used for supplying Russian troops and a military airbase. Several explosions on Tuesday appeared to have destroyed a Russian ammunition depot and an electricity substation about 125 miles (200km) from the frontline with Ukrainian forces. Russia blamed saboteurs for orchestrating the series of explosions.

There could be more attacks in the “next two or three months” similar to the strikes in Crimea, a key adviser to Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in an exclusive interview with the Guardian. Mykhailo Podolyak said Ukraine is engaged in a counteroffensive aimed at creating “chaos within Russian forces” by striking at the invaders’ supply lines deep into occupied territories.

The leaders of Ukraine, Turkey and the UN are set to meet to review the grain export deal in Lviv on Thursday. UN secretary-general António Guterres, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan will also discuss “the need for a political solution to this conflict” and the situation at the Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

Ukraine’s nuclear operator reported what it called an “unprecedented” cyberattack on its website, but said its operations have not been disrupted. “On August 16, 2022, the most powerful cyberattack since the start of the Russian invasion occurred against Energoatom’s website,” the operator said, adding it “was attacked from Russian territory”.

North Korea and the Russian-backed separatist Donetsk region of Ukraine will develop “equally beneficial bilateral cooperation”, Donetsk leader Denis Pushilin said in a letter to Kim Jong Un, North Korean state media reported on Wednesday.

The first ship to depart Ukraine under a grain export deal docked in Syria on Tuesday, according to a shipping source and satellite data. Another ship carrying the first cargo of food aid bound for Africa also left Ukraine’s ports.

Russia’s defence ministry has warned Britain against a planned spy plane flight over Russian territory, saying its air force has been given orders to prevent an intrusion. The ministry said the UK sent a notice informing about a planned flight of an RC-135 reconnaissance plane along a route that partly passes over Russian territory. “We regard this action as a deliberate provocation,” the ministry said.

Estonian authorities removed a Soviet-era tank from its pedestal in the eastern city of Narva, the most significant removal yet out of an estimated 200 to 400 such monuments that the government has pledged to take down by the end of the year. “No one wants to see our militant and hostile neighbour foment tensions in our home,” prime minister, Kaja Kallas, said on Tuesday. Estonia will also this week close its border to more than 50,000 Russians with previously issued visas.

Finland announced it will cut the number of visas it issues to Russians to 10% of current volumes from 1 September after Russian tourists begun using the country as a gateway to European holiday destinations. Finland will also join the Baltic states in jointly proposing the discontinuation of an EU visa facilitation agreement with Russia that makes it easier and cheaper for Russians to travel to and within the EU, foreign minister, Pekka Haavisto, said.

Report looked at over 400 cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia out of a sample of 2,500 Pennsylvania children ages two to seven

Young children living near fracking wells at birth are up to three times more likely to later develop leukemia, a new peer-reviewed study conducted by the Yale School of Public Health finds.

The alarming report, published Wednesday in the Environmental Health Perspectives journal, looked at over 400 cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia out of a sample of about 2,500 Pennsylvania children ages two to seven. The form of leukemia is the most common type of cancer in children, and though the survival rate is high, it frequently leads to other health problems later in life, like cognitive disabilities and heart disease.

Russian-backed self-appointed leader writes Kim Jong-un a letter, shortly after Vladimir Putin said Moscow and Pyongyang would expand relations

North Korea and the Russian-occupied Donetsk region of Ukraine will develop “equally beneficial bilateral cooperation”, its self-appointed leader has said in a letter to Kim Jong-un, according to state media.

Denis Pushilin made the pledge in a message congratulating Kim on the 15 August Korean liberation day, North Korean state news agency KCNA reported, two days after reporting a similar message from Russian president, Vladimir Putin, to Kim.

UK productivity does lag the G7, but the idea that shirking is to blame does not stand up to serious scrutiny

It will doubtless come as a surprise to British workers toiling in distribution warehouses, call centres or the NHS that Liz Truss thinks they could do with showing “more graft”.

Judging by comments made when she was chief secretary to the Treasury, the frontrunner to be prime minister thinks the UK’s economic problems are down to a working culture quite different from that in communist China.

Hadi Matar describes India-born British-American novelist as ‘someone who attacked Islam’ in interview with New York Post

The man accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie said he respected Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini but would not say if he was inspired by a fatwa issued by the former Iranian leader, according to a New York Post interview published on Wednesday.

Hadi Matar also told the Post he had only “read a couple pages” of Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses and that a tweet in the winter announcing the author’s visit to the Chautauqua Institution gave him the idea of going there.

Lord Justice Lewis rules several passages must be disclosed to claimants before hearing to determine if policy is lawful

A judge has ruled that the government must reveal the majority of passages in internal documents relating to a controversial policy to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to have their claims processed.

The foreign secretary, Liz Truss, made an application to the high court asking for public interest immunity to be granted to withhold 10 passages of two internal documents from disclosure that she said could damage international relations and breach national security if they were publicly revealed.

Ukrainian president’s comments come as thousands of Russians flee Crimea after strikes on peninsula

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, has said that panicking Russians have realised that Crimea is “not a place for them” after three mysterious and devastating strikes on the peninsula over the past week, thought to have been carried out by Ukrainian operatives.

In his latest video address Zelenskiy said long queues of cars streaming across the Crimea Bridge leading to the Russian mainland proved that the “absolute majority” of Russian citizens had got the message. At least 38,000 cars fled on Tuesday – a record.

The wage index rose 2.6% from a year ago, as unions call for more support to address cost of living pressure

Australia’s wages rose at the fastest rate in almost nine years but still less than half the headline inflation rate, a gap likely to fuel calls at next month’s jobs summit for more steps to halt the decline in household’s real incomes.

The wage price index rose 2.6% in the June quarter from a year ago, seasonally adjusted, and 0.7% from previous three months, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Wednesday. Economists had predicted the WPI would rise about 2.7% on an annual basis, and 0.8% in the quarter.

Shanghai, Moscow and Tehran have the highest levels of NO2 pollution, according to the research

Cities in relatively prosperous countries are blighted by serious levels of air pollution from nitrogen dioxide, often without realising the extent of the problem, research has found.

Moscow is the world’s second worst city for nitrogen dioxide pollution, behind Shanghai in China, while St Petersburg takes fourth place. Other cities near Russia follow close behind, including Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan, and Minsk, capital of Belarus, at seventh and eighth place respectively, according to the research, published on Wednesday.

TUC’s Frances O’Grady says employees need a pay rise not a lecture on working harder

The unions’ leader has responded with anger to Liz Truss’s comments that British workers needed “more graft” and lacked the “skill and application” of foreign rivals.

Frances O’Grady, general secretary of the Trades Union Congress, criticised the Tory leadership frontrunner for “lecturing” people to work harder while many were struggling to make ends meet.

If Grant Shapps is looking for a ‘model’, the secretive state has strict rules on ownership and who can cycle

If the British transport secretary, Grant Shapps, is looking for a “model” for his bicycle registration plates proposal he could turn to one of the world’s most illiberal countries: North Korea.

After decades of being frowned upon as a primitive means of transport for citizens of a modern, socialist paradise, cycling gained official acceptance in the secretive state in 1992 – although it is officially banned for women.

Measures include improved maternal healthcare and efforts to reduce abortions as China seeks to reverse declining population growth

The Chinese government has pledged to improve pre- and post-natal services to encourage more people to have children and reiterated its intent to “discourage” abortions as it seeks to turn around a declining birth rate.

The measures announced by the country’s national health commission include a pledge to make fertility treatments more accessible. For several years authorities have flagged expanding IVF access to single women but it remains available only to married couples. A court challenge by a woman was recently struck down.

Figures follow others indicating prices are beginning to fall as higher interest rates and living costs bite

The annual rate of UK house price growth has slowed sharply, falling from 12.8% to 7.8% in a month, according to official data that indicates the cost of living crisis is putting the brakes on the property market.

The Office for National Statistics said the value of the average UK house increased by £3,000 in June, taking the typical price to £286,000. That is £20,000 higher than a year earlier.

Top TikTok user was born in Senegal but has been in Italy since age one and says he ‘always felt Italian’

Khaby Lame, the Senegalese-born comedian who is the most followed TikTok user in the world, has been granted Italian citizenship.

Lame, 22, has lived in Italy since he was one and has said he “always felt Italian”. He received his citizenship during a ceremony in Chivasso, his home town, close to Turin in the northern Piedmont region, on Wednesday.

Analysis: Liberal leader says health will be prioritised, but Labor is happy for an election on the issue

It was three months out from the 2018 state election when Victoria’s premier, Daniel Andrews, took to Facebook with a slick promotional video accompanied by a soundtrack worthy of a Christopher Nolan film.

“The biggest public transport project in history is coming to Victoria,” a voiceover said, describing a proposed 90km underground railway running between Cheltenham in the south-east and Werribee in the south-west via a long-awaited station at Melbourne airport.

New research rules out theory that 535m-year-old Saccorhytus coronarius fossil is our earliest known ancestor

One less relative to be embarrassed about – scientists have ruled out the possibility that a 535m-year-old microscopic fossil that looks like an “angry minion” is our earliest known ancestor.

Previous research had suggested that Saccorhytus coronarius, a tiny sack-like creature with a large mouth and no anus, was an early member of a large group of animals called the deuterostomes, which vertebrates – including humans – belong to.

Non-executive board member says regulator ‘gave too much benefit to companies at expense of customers’

A director at energy regulator Ofgem has resigned, accusing it of favouring businesses over consumers with a rule change that will add as much as £400 to the average UK household energy bill.

Christine Farnish, a non-executive member of the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA), Ofgem’s board, tendered her resignation to the business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng in early August.

In early August the former prime minister registered Triginta, ‘30’ in Latin, a private company whose sole shareholder was himself

Scott Morrison has appointed himself director of a new private company, it has emerged, amid growing speculation about his future in parliament and calls for him to resign.

The former prime minister registered documents with the regulator, Asic, on 1 August, appointing himself director and sole shareholder of 10 shares in the company called Triginta Pty Ltd.

Manchester United’s Aoife Mannion and others discuss the increased interest in women’s football around the UK

Welcome to Moving the Goalposts, the Guardian’s new (and free) women’s football newsletter. Here’s an extract from this week’s edition. To receive the full version once a week, just pop your email in below:

It was at a village fete this summer that Manchester United’s Aoife Mannion saw a stall run by the local Davenham Juniors Football Club. After going over to introduce herself, Mannion – also an England international – discovered that the club were looking to start a new girls’ team, after their last one folded in 2018.