‘Zombie batteries’ causing hundreds of waste fires, experts warn

Industry urges people not to throw out dead batteries with household rubbish or recycling

“Zombie batteries” are causing hundreds of fires a year at waste and recycling sites, industry experts have warned. They are urging people to ensure dead batteries are not thrown away in household rubbish or recycling.

Batteries discarded with general waste are likely to be crushed or punctured during collection and processing, according to the Environmental Services Association (Esa). Some types, particularly lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride batteries, can ignite or explode when damaged and set fire to other materials. In some cases, this leads to incidents requiring dozens of firefighters and the evacuation of residents, potentially putting lives at risk.

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Why Biden calls Trump a ‘climate arsonist’ – video explainer

Humanity is said to have just 10 years left to start seriously tackling the climate crisis before passing the ‘point of no return’ with multiple-degree temperature increases, rising sea levels and increasingly disastrous wildfires, hurricanes, floods and droughts predicted.

Scientists say the US is far off the path of what is necessary for the nation and the world to avoid catastrophic global heating, particularly as in the past four years Donald Trump has shredded environmental protections for American lands, animals and people.

As part of our climate countdown series, the Guardian’s Emily Holden looks at the issue and examines why the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, calls his rival a ‘climate arsonist’ 

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No money to burn: how Bond crowdfunder could be the way forward

A new campaign to buy No Time to Die from MGM has been started on GoFundMe. Next step: nationalise 007

If Covid kills the cinema experience for good – a hypothetical that sounds less and less far-fetched by the day – then No Time to Die will forever be held up as a key co-conspirator. Although almost every other film set for release this year has been shunted off into the middle distance, there’s something about No Time to Die’s repositionings that seems to have drawn everyone’s wrath.

First it was booted away from a spring release. And then again from an autumn release, which is when Cineworld decided to board itself up. This week it was reported that, in an act of increasingly characteristic jumpiness, No Time to Die tried to hawk itself around the streaming platforms for the tidy sum of $600m. Even that failed. At this rate it would take a miracle for anyone to see it.

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Legendary Paris bookshop Shakespeare and Company begs for help in pandemic

The landmark store has seen sales fall 80% since March, and with a new lockdown expected has asked for orders from those who can afford it

One of the world’s most iconic bookshops, Shakespeare and Company, has appealed to its customers for help as it is struggling, with sales that are down almost 80% since March.

The celebrated Parisian bookstore told readers on Wednesday that it was facing “hard times” as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps customers away. France is expected to impose a new four-week national lockdown as coronavirus cases continue to surge; large swathes of the country, including Paris, are already under a night-time curfew.

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David Toole obituary

One of the world’s leading disabled dancers with a gift for combining physical power with bewitching delicacy

David Toole, who has died aged 56, was perhaps the world’s most renowned disabled dancer, a double amputee whose combination of physical power and bewitching delicacy created arresting imagery on stage and TV around the globe.

Watched by 146 million viewers at the opening ceremony of the London Paralympic Games in 2012, he swung his body across the stage on his hands, defying preconceptions about dexterity and beauty with a display of heart-stopping gracefulness, accompanied by the singer Birdy performing the Antony and the Johnsons song Bird Gerhl.

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Wole Soyinka to publish first novel in almost 50 years

Chronicles of the Happiest People on Earth will be released this year, with the 86-year-old author also planning fresh theatre work after ‘continuous writing’ in lockdown

Wole Soyinka has used his time in lockdown to write his first novel in almost 50 years.

The Nigerian playwright and poet, who became the first African to win the Nobel prize for literature in 1986, published his widely celebrated debut novel, The Interpreters, in 1965. His second and most recent novel, Season of Anomy, was released in 1973.

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Union jack swastikas and space-age braids: Thirteen Ways of Looking – review

Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry
From an AI interaction with a deceased black artist to a Punjabi granny making a sandwich, this show explores identity through the generations

Keith Piper’s THIRTEEN DEAD remains relatively unknown. Yet the 1982 work was one of the earliest artistic responses to the previous year’s fire at a house party in New Cross, south London, that took the lives of 13 young black people.

Handwritten words appear with pictures of the victim’s face on a series of postcards placed across a width of charred patterned wallpaper and skirting board: “Sister Yvonne survived with us 15 years in Babylon. On the dawn of her 16th year, Babylon sniffed her out.” The explicitness of the work is deeply affecting. Anger isn’t an emotion you expect to feel in an exhibition inspired by a poem (Wallace Stevens’s Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird), and yet, the more you absorb the details of this work – the victims’ baby faces, the burn holes – the more you appear to be at the mercy of your own rage.

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Trevor Noah on Trump’s ‘perfect replacement’ for RBG: ‘Grade-A trolling’

Hosts react to Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the supreme court and Republicans’ attempts to invalidate mail-in voting

“If anyone needed a reminder about what’s at stake in an election, well last night, you got it,” said Trevor Noah on the Daily Show. “Republicans took full advantage of their hold on the White House and the Senate” on Monday night to confirm conservative judge Amy Coney Barrett to the supreme court seat vacated by the late liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died of cancer at 87 in September.

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How to make soda bread – recipe | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

It’s perfect for the novice baker – and anyone looking for a quick and easy loaf that makes the ultimate toast

If you’re thinking that now is the time to finally come good on that new year’s resolution to start baking your own bread, this loaf, which can be on the table in little more than an hour, is the one to start with, especially if you’re hoping to enlist the help of young children in making it. Popular throughout Ireland, soda bread’s soft and crumbly crumb is great warm from the oven, but it also makes unbeatable toast.

Prep 10 min
Cook 50 min
Makes 1 loaf

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David Atherton’s recipe for rosehip syrup

Now is the time of year to collect these abundant rose fruits and turn them into a delicious alternative to honey or maple syrup

Rosehips are the fruit of the rose and contain lots of vitamin C, as well as vitamins D and E. Rosehip syrup is easy to make and a great alternative to maple syrup or honey for adding a little sweetness to your morning porridge. The best hips to collect are from the dog rose (believed to be so named because it was thought to cure rabies), but I like to wander through my local park and collect a variety. My grandmother instructed me to pick rosehips after the first frost; this softens the fruit so it breaks down quickly when cooking. Rosehips are ready to pick from late September and we rarely experience frosts before Christmas nowadays, so I would recommend putting them in the freezer overnight and allowing them to thaw before cooking. Rosehip seeds are covered in tiny hairs. This was used as itching powder at my school and you definitely don’t want the hairs in your syrup, so it is vital to pass them through a cheesecloth.

Makes one 250ml bottle

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All wrapped up: the 10 things you need to know before buying a duvet coat

From fillings to fastenings, here’s how to stay cosy and cocooned this winter – while also looking stylish

Few garments will make you feel as if you are being spooned by a considerate lover. Enter the duvet coat, a long, puffer-style cocoon that is more than a jacket. Soft and padded, cosy and water-resistant, it is a place to hide in plain sight, a sanctuary against the world and the weather.

With so many of us unable to socialise indoors, these coats have become a topic of fevered discussion on social media. (“Everyone get yourself a duvet coat. I am so warm and cosy life almost feels worth living,” one fan tweeted.) Could this be the answer to the coming Covid winter?

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‘Mail-in ballot’ and ‘hand sanitizer’: Halloween costume makers get creative

Retail experts say people are exploring fresh Halloween options to make sense of what feels a uniquely challenging time

2020 has been a tumultuous year full of massive change, and more than the usual amount of disaster and trauma. But it has been a gift to makers of Halloween costumes.

With many people celebrating the holiday from the comfort of Zoom screens at home, it’s an excuse to explore a swathe of new dress-up options meeting the challenge of what feels a uniquely difficult time.

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How can John Lewis wipe out three years of my extended guarantee?

The £100 extra was sold as ‘Added Care’ but when I came to claim, I couldn’t

In 2018 my mother purchased a £379 Bosch washing machine from John Lewis and, at the same time, paid an extra £100 to extend the guarantee to five years.

The machine recently broke down, but John Lewis won’t fix it because it says it is outside the two-year guarantee. It seems that when she bought the machine, it failed to register the added care policy, which appears to be administered by another company, Assurant.

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Patio heater, fire pit or a bigger jumper? How to stay warm while relaxing outside this winter

The coronavirus crisis has left many of us desperate to make the most of our gardens and yards. Here is an ethical, expert guide to keeping toasty

Sales of patio heaters in the UK are rising: Homebase has nearly sold out and sales on eBay have soared. Mensa Heating UK recently sold 750 infrared heaters in one day. But what about the environmental impact of patio heaters? In Germany, the federal government is offering subsidies to hospitality businesses wishing to buy them, even though they had been banned in some cities, while the French ecology minister has called them an “ecological aberration” and announced a ban from next year. So what is the best way to relax outside and stay warm?

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If Biden wins what would the first 100 days of his presidency look like?

If he succeeds in defeating Trump, the Democrat will have to urgently tackle the pandemic and rebuild global relationships

If Joe Biden wins the 2020 US election against Donald Trump next week, the new president-elect will face enormous pressures to implement a laundry list of priorities on a range of issues from foreign policy to the climate crisis, reversing many of the stark changes implemented by his predecessor.

Related: From climate to China, how Joe Biden is plotting America’s restoration

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We can’t vote in San Quentin prison. So we held a mock election

This is what happened when we had an opportunity to be heard from our Covid-ravaged California prison

Authors Juan Haines and Kevin Sawyer are both incarcerated journalists at San Quentin prison.

“I want to be heard,” one man wrote on the back of a makeshift ballot in a simulated election held inside San Quentin state prison. Another wrote that he was voting because “I’d like to feel like a citizen; feel like I am important too.”

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India tries to shake off pro-Trump image in run-up to US election

As Joe Biden pulls ahead in the polls, Delhi avoids helping Donald Trump woo Indian-American voters

At a podium in Delhi on Tuesday, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and the secretary of defense, Mark Esper, made a clear declaration of their country’s commitment to its alliance with India.

“The US will stand with India in its efforts to defend its sovereignty and its liberty,” Pompeo said, emphasising the importance of the US-India relationship in countering China’s “threats”.

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‘I was just sat in my room all day’: lonely students seek mental health support

Mental health charities and counsellors warn that self-isolation is putting many under pressure

University students are struggling with loneliness and anxiety due to campus lockdowns, with the risk that their mental health will deteriorate further unless urgent action is taken, counsellors and charities are warning.

Nightline, a phone line run by 2,951 student volunteers that reaches 1.6 million of their peers, has reported higher demand than usual for this time of year as self-isolation takes its toll on students’ mental health. “We normally see significant numbers of calls dealing with loneliness, and this year that number is higher,” says Brendan Mahon, a Nightline trustee.

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Deluged by floods, America’s ‘oldest city’ struggles to save landmarks from climate crisis

St Augustine, Florida, was founded in 1564 by Spanish explorers. Flooding has been a threat for centuries and is worsening with rising tides

The holiday season in St Augustine, Florida, is approaching, and residents are looking ahead to the annual Nights of Lights festival – a months-long tradition that sees millions of white lights strung along every corner of the city’s historic downtown.

But an old enemy is rearing its head: the sea. Increasingly, residents have to wear rain boots just to get to their cars and plan their commutes to avoid roads that are flooded with salty sea water.

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‘Justice must be for all’: why court intermediaries are vital for vulnerable people

Concerns are growing that a service to help people follow court proceedings in England and Wales is to be privatised and deregulated

At Highbury youth court in north London, Elliott Rogers (not his real name), a 15-year-old boy with severe cognitive and communication difficulties, has been waiting three hours for his trial to start. He has been charged with the theft of an iPhone, but no magistrates have turned up, and the court clerk is scrambling to raise one to come in at no notice. The boy sits in a side room with his mum, his barrister who specialises in representing vulnerable clients, and Francesca Castellano, his intermediary.

Witnesses, including young children, whose communication difficulties mean they would struggle to give evidence, are entitled by law to the support of a registered intermediary. They help them to understand what is happening in court and to give the best evidence they can.

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Corey Arnold’s best shot: a horse and a cat go fishing for crab

‘Kitty was seven months old but fearless. She’d saunter out on deck in a storm, and hunt seagulls bigger than she was’

This was shot in my third season crab fishing on a vessel called Rollo. King crab season in the Bering Sea, off Alaska, usually starts mid-October and lasts for several weeks, but it can be as little as one week – it depends on weather, luck and skill. When the season is finished, everyone goes in to Dutch Harbor and waits to offload their catch. There can be about 350 other boats filled up with crab. Sometimes you queue for eight days.

Everyone looks forward to Halloween. You get a bunch of crabbers in a bar and it gets pretty crazy. I’d bought this horse-head costume in advance and, as we were cruising in to Dutch Harbor, my friend Matthew and I were trying out costumes. I took some pictures of him wearing the mask, then my cat came walking by and Matthew grabbed her.

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Joni Mitchell: ‘I’m a fool for love. I make the same mistake over and over’

As she releases a box set of her earliest recordings, in a rare interview Mitchell talks about life before fame, the correct way to sing her songs – and her long struggle to walk and talk again after an aneurysm

“I was lying in bed last night thinking about getting a cat,” says Joni Mitchell. It’s an early summer Sunday, and she’s sitting in her backyard patio, nicknamed Tuscany. Behind her a bird feeder is busy with hungry visitors. “And this guy shows up at the gate around midnight, meowing.”

A light-brown kitten with long white paws, only a few months old, leans contentedly against her shoulder. “I hope nobody comes to claim him,” she confides softly. They’re fast friends. Nearby Marcy Gensic, Mitchell’s longtime friend and associate, mentions they’ve papered the neighbourhood with lost notices. No calls yet. So with our midnight visitor, tentatively named Puss ’n Boots, tucked in the lap of this treasured artist, Mitchell is here to discuss the new set of early recordings she never intended to release: Joni Mitchell Archives Vol 1: The Early Years (1963-1967). For years she doubted their place in the revered canon of her carefully curated albums. “Some of the melodies are beautiful,” she told me in an interview in 2004, “but they’re very ingenue-y.” She seemed almost wistful. “God, they’re so vulnerable in these tough times. They’re like some ancient world.”

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‘I’m doing my bit to create a fairer, healthier planet’: meet four ethical investors determined to make a difference

Whether you’re into renewable energy or organic food, we can all enjoy the buzz of backing companies making a positive impact on the world. What’s more, there are now more options than ever for putting your money where your values are

Stereotypes die hard. A misperception persists that investors are staid men in grey suits. Even when it comes to investing in ethical or sustainable funds, many people still assume that only wealthy philanthropists have the luxury of being able to do so.

But the democratisation of investing means that these days anyone can make an informed, empowered decision about how to put their extra cash to good use. Here are four everyday investors who decided to put their money where their values are, by investing with Triodos Bank.

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Cycling: how to change your inner tube in seven easy steps

Don’t let a puncture deflate your cycling spirit. Here’s everything you need to fix a tyre like a bike shop pro

You’re freewheeling along happily, when suddenly you’re very much aware of the bumpy road beneath your wheels – and your bum. As the sound of rubber dragging on asphalt gets louder, reality hits: you’ve got a flat tyre.

Whether punctures happen on the way to work or mid-Strava segment on your Sunday training ride, flats are a frustrating part of life on two wheels. Investing in decent tyres such as the near puncture-proof Schwalbe Marathon Plus, which come with a 5mm-thick puncture guard, can massively limit your risk. But even the toughest treads can’t protect against all of the pesky sharps that might make you spring a leak.

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‘I got a whole new mindset’: the health secrets of people who got much fitter in lockdown

Many of us have struggled to maintain our fitness in 2020 – but not everyone. Here, four people explain how they improved their sleep patterns, diet and exercise regimes

Before Covid-19, an ordinary evening for Tim Ludford, a charity worker, looked something like this: after-work drinks with colleagues; an Uber home; a takeaway. “Not healthy takeaways, either,” says Ludford, 37, from London. He would polish off a curry for two people before nailing a bag of Maltesers or a packet of biscuits.

Ludford’s relationship with food began to deteriorate after the death from cancer of his father in 2013. “I was unhappy, first of all, and I was bingeing on food and alcohol as a coping mechanism,” he says. “A lot of it was related to my dad, but I was also stuck in a rut and food was an easy way to make myself feel good.” By the time lockdown was introduced, he was severely obese, with a BMI of 40. (A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, according to the NHS.) “Sometimes I’d do crazy things,” he says. “If I was on the way to meet someone for dinner, I’d go to KFC on the way. And then I’d eat dinner as well.”

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My stepson saw an explicit video of his dad on my phone. What should I do?

While we were all looking through old family images, up popped one of my husband in all his glory. Should we discuss this with our 13-year-old or pretend it never happened?

My husband of 10 years used to travel a bit on business, and we would send each other explicit photos and videos of ourselves. I thought I had hidden all incriminating images in a protected folder on my phone, but, the other night, while I was randomly flicking through old family videos with my husband and 13-year-old stepson, up popped a video of my husband in all his glory, holding himself. There was stunned silence from the two of us, then panicked laughter, while my stepson looked at me with a bemused “busted!” expression. He still seems unconcerned about it, but both of us feel terrible. Should we have a conversation about it, wait to see if he acts any differently towards us, or trust our first instinct, which was to be a bit embarrassed and then pretend it never happened? We’re not a prudish household, but we figure that forcing him to talk could make this episode even weirder and more awkward than it already is. What should we do?

Our children pick up on our attitudes towards sex without any words being spoken. In fact, the most powerful learning they receive is the unspoken message. They easily absorb how each parent views sex, through our reactions when sexual content appears on TV, or the way we react when someone alludes to sex in conversation. Given that unspoken messages are the most powerful ways parents communicate ideas and feelings about sex, you have already let your stepson know everything he needs to understand about this. He is old enough to put it into context, and if he questions you in the future your job is to simply give a relaxed answer. You were right to normalise the accidental revelation, and there would be little point in returning to the subject.

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What cooking skills should children learn?

What sort of tasks in the kitchen should kids know how to do at different ages?

• Do you have a culinary dilemma? Email feast@theguardian.com

What’s the best way to get children interested in cooking, and what should I teach them?
Georgie, Suffolk

The golden rule, says Thomasina Miers, is patience – and lots of it. “It can be a slow process,” she sympathises. “I talk about how delicious food is and always put olive oil, lemons and herbs on the table for them to add to their meal.”

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